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VOL. I. 




INGBAM Place. 

A NOVEL. -'- ^ 

■• 4V 


t I • 



■< \ 




Vol. I. 



All rights reserved. 

2SJ. ir. 5 






PBOLOGUE. In the Blood 1 


I. Jenny Jot and Jenny Joice. In the Latin . 11 


lU. Miss Joicb at Houb 24 

IV. How Jenny got beady fob Chubch ... 27 

V. Going to Chubch 38 

VI. Balfb's Puzzle. Going to seek heb Fobtune . 46 

VII. Is she GAifB? 55 

VIII. Miss Ingbam makes a Pbosose .... 63 

IX. A Mystebious Abdication and a Puzzling Suc- 
cession 72 

X. Mb. Blennbbhassbt abbivbs 80 

XI. Mb. Blennbbhassbt astonishes Mb. Beybbeux . 91 

XII. Sips of the Golden Chalice . . .99 

XIII. She is Nothing to him . , . 108 

XIV. Twelve o'clock of the Night . 116 



XVI. The Tbamp's Second Visit . . 128 

XVIL A Race fob a Life 135 

XVin. A Girl of the Pebiod 142 

XIX Weighed akd Found Wanting .... 152 

XX. Dbinkino Deepbb 159 

XXI. The Heibess of Ingbam 162 


XXm. That? That my Daxjghtbb? .... 181 
XXIV. BoHAN Blennebhasset seasons out mobe Con- 


XXV. Miss Ingbam agbees with hbb Godmotheb 4 197 


XXVn. Balfe obows JBAI.OUS 205 

XXVIIL The beoinnino of the Battle. Who wm. 

wm? 212 

XXIX. The Battle bages. Who will win? . . 217 

XXX. How THE Outcasts fbom the Thievbs' Latin met 

AGAIN 227 

XXXL How Db. Dalzell vented his bighteous wbath 

ON two Vagbants 230 

XXXn. How RoBEBT Dalzell got tebed and hunobt. 

Good Fighting again 239 

XXXm. How the Vagbants established themseltes en 

Boss, AND how they LEFT IT . . . 249 

XXXIV. Mbs. Chibbup's Ebmobse 265 

XXXV. The Littlb Nubsw 266 

XXXVL The Ottbb cbts the Shivebs .... 270 

XXXVIL Died unfobgitbn '278 





From the Shannon to the Atlantic stretches the demesne 
of Ingram, whose crown is the Place, a statelj old build- 
ing, with a glorious confusion of styles. Very fair to 
the eye is this majestic pile, frowning down on the broad 
blustering Atlantic; embosomed in the dark woods that 
clothe its guardian hills as luxuriantly as though no mighty, 
treacherous, beautiful sea rolled up to their very feet, and 
danced and sparkled on the shining shingle which forms 
the western boundary of that marvellous expanse of velvet 
sward. Exquisitely melodious, too, with the songs of the 
birds, the streams, the fountains, with the chatter of the 
tiny baby, who makes music all day long in the grand old 
house, — ^all night in the dreams of its master. 

He was a proud man, the master of Ingram Place ; an 
aristocrat of the old type, who looked upon the earth as 
being made for man, and man for the convenience of the 
nobles. The little motherless child was dear to him, less 
because she was his daughter than because she was his 
heiress. In the dimpled despot, who exacted such implicit 
obedience, such slavish worship from everyone around, 

VOL. I. B 


and at whose baby shrine he, too, bent in homage, he 
recognised not the wee sweet pledge his wife had left him, 
not the affectionate companion of declining years, but the 
future Baroness Ingram, the bearer of his name and titles. 

It was fortunate that the title descended to the female 
in default of male heirs, or Lord Ingram would never have 
forgiven his wife for dying without giving him a son. He 
felt it would be a bore to marry again, while it would be 
misery to think of that noble mansion and those broad 
lands going to a distant relation. Something of this 
shaped itself into words as he stood on the marble terrace, 
overlooking the sea in front, and at either end a vast ex- 
panse of park and dense pine groves. 

* No, I could not bear to leave it to a stranger. Ingram 
Place for the Ingrams ; so it has been, so it shall be.' 

Something of softness crept over the exquisitely 
chiselled features, something came into the steely blue eyes 
that at other moments they lacked, as into that gorgeous 
picture of wood, and grass, and sea there came a thing 
fiiirer than bird or flower, yet seeming to partake of the 
nature of both — the baby heiress of Ingram. 

She was a tiny child, with fair, delicate skin, that 
took a faint rose-blush under the great grey-black eyes. 
Soft, bright curls fell from under the little hat on round, 
white shoulders, like marble, but the thick, heavy lashes 
were black as jet. Flitting to and fro amongst the flowers 
that bright June afternoon, the grave, solemn depths of 
baby wisdom that lurked in the dark eyes were hidden in 
the glimmer of the sunlight. 

' Ingram Place for the Ingrams,' he repeated. Even as 
he spoke the child disappeared with her nurse, and he 
re-entered his study. 


* There's a tramp at the front entrance, my lord, who 
says he mnst see you.' 

' A tramp, who must see me ! ' ejaculated Lord Ingram, 
expressing in his tones the immeasurable surprise no words 
could do justice to. The crimson hangings that softened 
the light of the gorgeous library vibrated at the sound, 
and the stern visages of the O' Regan Ingrams poured 
down a sterner frown at the sleek servitor, who murmured, 
in his most soothing tones, 

* Yes, my lord — ^but he insisted on my telling your 

* Insisted on your disobeying me ? ' said Lord Ingram, 
with freezing hauteur, his clear tones all the more im- 
perious for being so icily cold. * I shall instruct Bayley to 
give you a quarter's salary ; I have no further need of 

' If your lordship pleases, I told him it would cost me 
my place, and he said ' 

* I really must be excused hearing your conversation 
second-hand,' interrupted the peer, in accents of supreme 
indifference. ' You may go.' 

Watkins bowed and withdrew, and Lord Ingram re- 
sumed his writing. Again he was disturbed. 

' Since you do not seem to understand my orders, 
Watkins,' he remarked, without looking up, 'I must 
request you to apply at once to Bayley for your money.' 

Watkins did not answer; did not make even the 
faintest attempt at an apology ; and Lord Ingram looked 
up. l^o sleek, well-appointed valet stood there, but a 
travel-stained, ragged man ; a man on whose countenance 
and attire vice had set her brand ; a tramp confessed, every 
inch of him, and not a pleasant-looking tramp either. 

B 2 


Lord Ingram's first idea was to ring. His hand was 
already on the bell- rope when it was arrested by the tramp, 
who severed the cord with a sharp knife, and at the same 
instant locked the door, while Lord Ingram stood lost in 
surprise, powerless to act till it was too late. 

' Do you know where you are, fellow ? ' demanded 
the nobleman, haughtily; not a shadow of fear on his 
handsome face, not a tremor disturbing the iron-grey 
moustache that shaded his short upper lip, or stirring the 
thin locks that fell over the broad temples ; only pride, 
stern, uncompromising pride, lurking like a shadow of evil 
in the cold clear eyes, dilating the delicate well-shaped 
nostrils, curving the nether lip. 

* Are you afraid of me, Lord Ingram ?' queried the tramp 
bitterly, extending his empty hands to show he was un- 

* Afraid of you? I ?' said Lord Ingram, with all the con- 
centrated contempt the aristocrat of a line of fifty ancestors 
<;an feel for the untutored plebeian who presumes to draw a 
comparison between himself and his superior, in his cold 
voice. * Leave the house instantly, or you shall dearly rue 
this insolence.' 

* No, not yet ; not till you have heard me.' 

* You will regret this, depend upon it.' 

* What have I done ? My lord, I have come in at the 
front instead of the back ; I have cut a rope that it will 
cost you a few shillings to replace ; but I could not have 
spoken to you otherwise, and am I to stick at trifles when 
my child's life hangs on your words ? Oh, my lord, pause 
before you throw an unstained soul amongst the scum of 
the convict station. It is not for the hell of seven years 
though that can make a hardened sinner like me tremble 


but it IS the long afterwards. Oh, my lord jnstice, think 
of the afterwards ; what is to become of her then ?' 

* How long am I to endure this ?' demanded Lord In- 
gram, measuring the stalwart figure that barred his way 
to the door. 

' My lord, if I have ofiended you forgive me,' said the 
tramp penitently, * and consider what madness you might 
comtnit, if eternal misery threatened your daughter, your 
only one, if she were led into temptation by those who 
should shield her, if her one protector were for twp years 
beyond the sea, tied hand and foot in chains himself had 
forged, while she was lured on to be a tool, to take what 
wasn't hers to help a comrade out of trouble * 

^ There is no such word as stealing in your vocabulary,* 
interrupted the peer sarcastically. 

* Well, my lord, to steal, to become a thief; would you 
be delicate about begging that she might not for that one 
ofience be ruined for ever, that through aU eternity she 
might not reproach you with her damnation ?' 

* Silence, sirrah !' and the slumbering volcano of indig- 
nation broke forth. *Do you suppose that I shall stand 
here and permit you to institute comparisons between 
your daughter and the future Baroness Ingram, or have 
you the unpardonable insolence to suppose that my daughter 
could ever sully herself with the crimes that belong by 
nature to the rabble ?' 

* I don't suppose any such thing, my lord. Surrounded 
with all that is pure and holy, every want anticipated, 
every fancy gratified lawfully, what could tempt your 
d&ughter to stain her hand with theft ? But put her in 
the haunts of vice, set her down, bound and fettered by her 
youth and helplessness, in the same horrible surroundings ; 


let her hear goodness jeered at, and wickedness, lying, 
trickery held np as cleverness ; and I tell yon that she will 
sink as low in the mire as thongh she were of the veriest 
plebeian mud.' 

Fire darted from the keen blue eyes of the outraged 
noble ; the veins on his forehead stood out like whipcord. 

* Insolent ! ' he exclaimed. ' Quit the house at once.' 
There was something superbly regal in his lofty indig- 
nation, as he repudiated by his contemptuous silence on the 
subject all comparison between his daughter and that man's 

* I cannot, Lord Ingram. Great Heaven ! I cannot go 
away quietly. Only consider, if you have any pity for the 
young and helpless, what is to become of my poor girl. 
Will you bid her be an outcast for ever — ^for ever, for in 
this world or the next she will never shake off the chain 
seven years. will forge ? Will you do this when you con- 
sider what her life has been ? Oh, my lord, I implore you 
remember whose child she is.' 

* I do remember, I assure you,' said Lord Ingram with 
haughty disdain. 

* A thief when not a convict, a convict when not a 
thief. What could she be with such a father ? ' 

* What, indeed ? That is my view of the case exactly, 
and the sooner the country is rid of the offspring of such 
as you the better. The sooner the progeny of convicts are 
crushed out of existence like the eggs of a brood of 
vipers, the better for the respectable portion of the com- 
munity. I would trample as remorselessly on the one as 
the other, for the badness is in the blood, and only death 
can kill it.' 

A strange glazed look began to come over the burning 


eyes of the tramp, as he gazed into the nobleman's cold, 
passionless face. 

' Is that it P You think it's in the blood it is ? ' 

* From one generation to another, from father to son, 
mother to daughter, the degradation deepens.' 

* But her mother — ' and the tramp spoke humbly again. 
^ Oh, my lord, her mother was an honest woman, a gentle, 
true-hearted woman ; it can't be the blood, or her child could 
not be tempted. For her sake, in pity to her mother's 
heart looking down from heaven, be mercifol. What am I 
to say to her, when she asks me for her daughter ? * 

' That she acted according to her nature. Bah ! I 
know you, one and all.' 

* So it's the blood is it ? ' and again the glazed look 
came over the burning eyes. * Well then, forgive my girl 
for being what she could not help, and the Lord have 
mercy upon you.' 

The Lord Chief Justice froze into very ice. Mercy on 
him ? What need had he of mercy ? The tramp followed 
up the unfortunate appeal. 

* I will pray night and day that your child may never 
know sin or shame if you will only give my girl one 
chance to be honest.' 

* You may spare yourself the trouble of such prayers ; 
my daughter is an Ingram.' 

* And can never fall ? I tell you, proud man, you lie. 
I tell you that the day may come to her when such prayers 
will be as sorely needed as though she was but a pauper. 
I tell you that your blood is no barrier against crime and 
disgrace — ^look to it, my lord, look to it.' 

There was frenzy in the passionate repudiation of the 
divine right of blood, frenzy in the hoarse utterance, in the 


rolling eye, bnt it did not move that haughty man. His 
heart was stone to his brother. The tramp went on. 

* If you only knew how in my deepest sin I strove to 
keep her pure, how in my chains in a foreign land I looked 
across thousands of miles at the one sinless being who 
would touch my hand, how I turned to her memory in the 
moment of desperation, and refrained from deadlier crime, 
how I plotted and planned to save and steal that she might 
go live with honest people, where she would be what I 
might have been, how my one dream was to worship her 
goodness, to marry her to an honest man, you would 
understand that you hold two souls in your hand. Your 
child is dear to you, but can't you see mine must be dearer 
to me ? for you have rank, wealth, a name, friends ; I have 
nothing else in the world that isn't tainted of hell.' 

The piteous appeal was unheeded. Lord Ingram's face 
grew hard and cold againj oh, so hard, so pitiless, as 
a man's face should never be to his brother. Loathing 
contempt he felt for the returned convict, who presumed 
to place his daughter in comparison with the heiress of 
Ingram, who coupled crime with the name of the latter, as 
though such a connection were possible. 

*I can endure this no longer ; my patience is at an end, 
and, once for all, I tell you that my decision is unalter- 

There was something in the cold indifferentism of the 
metallic tones more chilling than the concise brevity of the 
sentence, that told plainly there could be no sympathy 
between noble and tramp. 

* Lord Ingram, I could kill you where you stand.' 

His lordship started. There was no doubt of that ; he 
started unmistakably* He was no coward; he was no 


living slur on the world-renowned courage of the O 'Regan 
Ingrams; but there was something in the unholy glare 
of those eyes that msde his patrician pride quail* 

* I could, I could/ pursued the tramp bitterly, * but I 
will not, no I will not ; I must have a sweeter revenge. 
I could Idll you, but thai would not save my child; it 
would not shield me from the flames that are now licking 
me with their forked tongues, and it would be putting you 
out of my reach too soon ; it would be giving you too easy a 
punishment, when seven years' transportation is meted out 
to an ignorant, deluded girl. I could strangle you now ; I 
could squeeze out your life with these bony fingers — they are 
strong enough for that — ^but I will not. I will do better ; 
I will squeeze out your life by inches ; I will curse you.' 

Lord Ingram strove in vain to shake ofi" the creeping 
horror that assailed him* He stood spell-bound ; he shrank 
from touching that loathly object ; though he would fain 
have dashed down the • uplifted hand, and stemmed the 
torrent of words with the nervous grip of his slender white 

' May you live to see your child a shame and a disgrace. 
May you live to see her soul tainted with blackness, as foul 
as that which will stain my girl seven years from to-day. 
May she be as unable to turn to honesty and decency, as 
hopeless and hapless an outcast in this world and the next. 
May you live to see and know this. May you live to be the 
thing I am, a wretched, guilty man, with sin upon your head 
and misery in your heart, and your one guiding star that 
might have saved you plunged in infamy. ' May you live 
to this, as I tell you you will, and you will then see whether 
your blood will save you in the hour of temptation. Oh, 
my lord,' and the tramp suddenly broke down, * I did not 


come to curse, I came to beg. Think what it is in your 
power to do. You can save me — ^will you not ? ' 

No answer. That haughty man could not overlook the 
presumption that ignored his rank, that fronted him to a 
beggar, as a man to a man with, no distinction between 
them, that, fraught with supreme agony, only recognised in 
him a fellow. No answer to that cry for help, that wailing 
appeal from a soul not altogether bad ; only a cold, super- 
cilious stare of indifference and scorn. 

It was sad to see ; oh, very sad to see. The one inexor- 
able as Fate, assuming a relentless hardness ; a man, a mere 
frail man, taking upon him the dread attributes a Deity 
exercises with pity. The other hardening under the fatal 
truth, hardening into something harder than adamant; 
colder than ice, yet tortured with a consuming fire of hate 
and misery. Sad to see, sad to see. 

Again he muttered, as if in thought, 

* I could kill you^ — I could, but I will not. No, I will 
do better. Grood-bye, my lord. I leave you my legacy.' 

Slowly and wearily he turned away. No hope in life 
now ; no purpose, but one crude and vague, that yet might 
shape into something terribly comforting. He was gone, 
and Lord Ingram was left undisputed master of his own 

* I did well to refdse him,' muttered the peer, as if 
arguing with himself. ' The rabble are gaining too much 
head- way. It is time they were put down.' 




Come to Court, Jenny Joy, Jenny Joy ; 
Come to Court, Jenny Joy. 
How's she to day ? 

Wild, weird cldldreii's voices sang ont the sweet refrain in 
the deserted old Latin down by the canal of Dromore. The 
childish melody floated away over the water, nestling 
among the trees that lined the banks, dying away in echoes 
innumerable till taken np by the answering chorus. 

Bold, merry, dark- eyed children they were ; some with 
an attempt at respectability visible, others utterly vaga- 
bond. As the old play goes on, the ragged urchins simulate 
grief with a marvellous amount of histrionic power. Born 
actors every one of them, quick to feel rather than to feign, 
their impulsive, passionate natures seem to catch instan- 
taneously the tinge of the emotion expressed. 

Who that has seen a group of Irish children playing 
this game, does not remember the countless witiy subter- 
fuges by which the mother evades the importunate demands 
of those lordly gallants from Spain? But at last the 
climax is reached, and Jenny Joy must run to avoid being 
buried by her disconsolate suitors. Away she flies, like a 
hunted hare, and the Latin is quiet no longer. 

In this very old game the best runner is always Jenny 
Joy, so as to tax the ingenuity of her pursuers to the 
utmost. In this case the fugitive was a very good runner 


indeed ; she doubled upon her pursuers with amazing rapi- 
dity, her breath came and went in short gasps, her face 
grew strangely white, as though it were a matter of life and 
death ; yet still she kept on. Suddenly a wild shriek burst 
from her lips, as, with a triumphant shout, one of the players 
seized her by the shoulders ; a shudder convulsed her frame, 
and she stood helpless and shuddering. 

' Go away, go away,' said the girl who had been the 
mother, addressing her companions who stood curiously 
round. * I told you not to make her play.' 

* What's she more than any of us ?' retorted a handsome, 
bold-faced girl. ' We're not going to have any fine-lady 
airs from people that live in the thieves' Latin.' 

' She shall be a lady if she likes, do you hear ?' was the 
fierce reply. *And she shan't run again unless she's a 
mind to. What do you say to that ?' 

She was a wee mite of a thing, with tiny feet and tinier 
hands, and great black eyes that flashed wickedly under the 
strongly-arched eyebrows; a swarthy, elfish-looking creature, 
with a rare crown of jet-black hair, gathered in bangled 
masses at the back of her head. 

* Why shouldn't Balfe's daughter take her turn as well 
as the rest of us ?' demanded another angrily. 

'Take her turn?' repeated the elf with supreme con- 
tempt, 'when you make her run every time. She does 
take her turn and your's too, but she shan't again.' 

There were rebellious mutterings in the throng, but 
they did not in the least daunt the elf. 

* Only let me catch one of you making her,' she said. 
* Now go away.' 

Ghmmbling, muttering, yet subdued, the children moved 
away to another part of the Latin, where they might pursue 


tlieir games free fiH^m the glare of the black eyes. Then 
the elf twined her arms round her trembling companion, 
and drew her with wonderful gentleness to the mossy 
hillock under the great beech tree. 

*What is it, alanna machree?' she said in strangely 
musical tones. 

* I can't do it,' said the girl, sobbing hysterically. * It 
seemed so real, oh ! so dreadfully real ; just as I've dreamed 
it over and over. Sure I knew it wasn't true, but I couldn't 
let them catch me ; it hurts me so here,' and she pressed 
her hand to her heart. 

As peculiarly fair as her small protector was sallow, 
with only a faint tint on the transparent cheeks, and great 
grey eyes that appeared black under their heavy fringes, 
she looked a fragile, helpless creature to battle single-handed 
with life. Her features were singularly delicate, and around 
the curves of the small mouth there lurked sad lines and 
shadows of age in youth. Her timid, nervous air formed a 
striking contrast to the bold defiance characterising, the 
gipsy ; the almost forbidding sternness of the brown face 
only redeemed at times by the glorious light that flashed 
from the midnight eyes, the sweet, strange smilo that 
hovered round the small mouth as if longing to make its 
home there. 

* They shan't make you play any more.' 

* But they will.' 

* I tell you no ; if they do ' 

* They'll only plague me when you're away,* was the 
disconsolate reply. ' Don't make them angry.' 

* What a little coward you are.' 

* Sure I am, but I can't help it ; I wish I was like you, 
but I'm not a bit,* 


* Indeed you're not, praises for that same. But, you 
little stupid, why don't you stop and not run at all ? ' 

* I can't, I feel like running for my life. It's so like 
my dreams, I must run on.' 

* Well, it's regular fun to me to make them all stiff; it's 
downright delicious to see how disappointed they look 
when they think they've got you and haven't. I tell you 
what, Kate agra, in the fox-chases it isn't the hunters have 
all the fun. I wouldn't mind bein' the fox, and wouldn't 
I lead 'em a chase.' 

* Oh, I wish I was like you.' 

* And I wish you weren't, so I have my wish and you 
haven't. You must always be like yourself and nobody 
else, but better like anybody than me. I don't know how 
it is, but it's worse I get every day, just as that man gets 
more aggravating.' 


* Does he ? Doesn't he ? ' and the weird elfishness of 
her look intensified as she spoke the words bitterly. * But 
I pay him off, alanna machree, trust me for that ; it's only 
right that I should, you know.' 

But though she spoke confidently she looked question- 
ingly into the sad, troubled face that gleamed so sweetly 
from its framework of tangled hair. 

* I don't know ' said the girl, with a painfnl conscious- 
ness of something she had dreamt or learnt long ago. * I 
couldn't do it, but that's because I'm such a coward, I 

* No, no, m tell you why it is : it's because you're a lady 
bom, and you can't do the bad, vulgar things me and the 
other girls do. I always said you were a lady, and so you 
are, and nothing will make anything else of you.* 


Kate looked down at her torn dress, her stockingless 
feet, encased in broken slippers, her bare arms and her 
soiled hands, with a keen sense of the Indicrons. Smiles 
rippled over the face lately washed with tears, whose effects 
were still visible in countless patches. 

' Now you're going to tell me it's the grand people who 
wear silk and satin that are the ladies, but I don't believe 
a word of it. There's many a duchess, my dear, would give 
her ears to be as pretty as you.' 

* I'd like to be a duchess.' 

* So would I,' assented the elf approvingly. * Grracious I 
wouldn't I make the money fly ? What dresses I'd have 
to go to parties every night.' 

*It's not that I'd care so much for,' and again the 
shadow pressed heavily on the young brow. ' But I need 
never be afraid then.* 

* What makes you think so much of an odd blow ? ' de- 
manded the elf curiously. ' I wouldn't mind it a bit. 
Couldn't you fling the stool at him . next time ? Just to 
try your hand ? ' 

* Oh, I couldn't.' 

* Just to try ? Well, it's the easiest thing in the world 
when you get your hand in. I tell you what ; I'll take him 
in hand.' 

* No, no, no,' ejaculated the girl. * Besides, he doesn't 
hit me, he only says he will ; it's the thought of it more than 
anything else.' 

* Well, it can't last for ever. If the worst comes to the 
worst, you know, he can't live always.' 

* Oh ! Jenny.' 

* It's no harm saying it,' retorted Miss Joice defiantly^ 
^ Unfortunately, it won't hurry it. But sxire there's no need 


to wait for that ? It's long ago I made up my mind to mn 
away. I'd do it now, only I haven't plagued him enough 
yet, I must give him a taste of the other place before I go.' 

* But, Jenny,' said her friend timidly, * he's your father, 

* No, he's not,' said the little creature fiercely, ' he's no 
father to me ; but I'll tell you what he is —the murderer of 
my mother. Oh, Kate, I know it's a bad, wicked wretch 
I am, but think of my poor mother dying broken-hearted 
at the Shivers. Sure he killed her, as much as if he had 
stabbed her with the knife ; only it wasn't altogether and 
over, but by inches.' 

Two large tears stood in the black eyes, softening their 
lurid splendour into a wondrous beauty. Not another 
word was uttered, but there was indescribable sympathy 
between these two ragged, untidily-dressed girls, with their 
unkempt hair and dirty faces. By-and-by the shadows 
warned them to go, and they rose regretfully. 

*I suppose you must go,' said Miss Joice dolefully; 
* aiid as you're going I'll go too. If it was me was told 
to be in, I'd let them see I liked staying out.' 

They walked slowly, for they were loth to return to 
the thieves' quarter, its grimy filth and squalid misery, 
walked slowly along the softly carpeted old Latin. It was 
a broad strip of ground, shut in from the road by a high 
wall, and sweeping down in grassy luxuriance to the river- 
side. How it had received its strange name no one knew, 
unless it might be from the college boys, whose lawn 
stretched along the other bank of the canal ; but it had 
been called the Latin from time immemorial, and nobody 
thought of changing the quaint title. Stray willows kissed 
the placid murmuring waters very lovingly, and here and 



there tall beeches raised their heads, like giant guardians, 
transfixed long ago by some magic spell, and only waiting 
the word to revive to life. 

A young lady and an elderly gentleman were walking 
down the Latin, and after them trooped the band of va- 
grants, attracted as much by the rich dress and glistening 
jewellery as by the hope of profit, clamouring for alms. 
The gentleman was singularly handsome ; every one of the 
clearly- cut features was stamped with a patrician grace 
that proclaimed him an aristocrat ; not one of those persons 
who are bom merely to a name and an estate, a caricature 
on the world's greatness ; but one of Nature's pets, aristocrat 
in face, in form, in manner, almost in mind. If he was not 
quite comme-il-faut in the latter it did not so much matter, 
you know, because nobody knew, and therefore nobody 
ever told it. He was singularly proud, too, as you could 
tell by one glance at his faultless profile. The young lady 
was of a very different style ; her features were as irregular as 
her companion's were perfect, but the ragged throng took 
no note of that ; they gaped, open-mouthed, at the brilliant 
complexion, the glossy, golden, rippling hair, the large grey 
eyes, the fresh rosy hps, and gleaming teeth. It was a 
joyous piqujant face ; with delicate dark eyebrows that had 
a tinge of gold, and eyelashes that were almost black. 
Irresistible drollery looked, out of her eyes, and prompted 
her, quite as much as did charity, to take out her purse, and 
scatter a handful of coins among the vagabonds in embryo, 
Noticing that the two girls, who stood apart, had nothing, 
she held out some money. Kate shrank back with in- 
stinctive delicacy, perhaps timidity ; but Miss Joice fixed 
her bright black eyes on the stranger, whose face, and curls, 
and shining silken dress had spellbound her for a moment, 

TOL. I. 


and replied, with a dignity tliat would have been ludicrous 


had it not been so earnest, 

* We didn't beg fix)m you. Keep your money for them 
that want it.' 

* I beg your pardon,' and the oflPending vision of beauiy 
glanced from one to the other. * I did not mean you were 
beggars; I thought * 

*That we'd take what we'd get and say nothing,' 
interposed Jenny, considerably mollified ; * but you see we 
can't, because we're ladies just as much as you ; at least, 
Kitty is. She was bom a lady, though she hasn't silk 
dresses and pretty hats ; and I'm trying to be one because 
she is, only I wasn't bom one, you see, and it comes hard 
at first.' 

An irrepressible smile betokened the young lady's 
amusement. The taller girl caught it, and shrank &rther 

* I believe those persons do not require your charity, 
Miss Ingram,' said the gentleman, in a cold, quiet voice, 
glancing firom the canal in the direction of the girls ; over 
them, behind them, somewhere into them it might be, but 
not at them. 

* You will accept a present, then ? ' and Miss Ingram 
glanced with a comical mixture of amusement and pity at 
the pinched faces and ill-clad figures. Kate never heard her 
— her eyes, wistful and beseeching, were fixed on the gentle- 
man, who again listlessly counted the waves of the canal, 
and calculated how many ripples would pass him as he 
stood there, and her face wore the white fixed look it had 
when the pain came to her heart — but Jenny drew herself 
up proudly. 

* No, thank you.' 


* Oh, the ladies of the Thieves' Latin don't take money. 
Miss,' shouted the children mockingly; *but we do, and 
thank your ladyship.' 

* I am ready, uncle.' 

He turned, glancing as he did so at the eyes whose 
steadfast gaze drew his. He stopped for an instant, look- 
ing into the white, pitiful face; then he moved away, won- 
dering why he should be disturbed. 

* How white and hungry that girl looks, uncle.' 

* Hungry ? Yes, I suppose that's it. Why did you 
not give her something ? ' 

* They would neither of them take anything. Strange, 
was it not ? She was bom a lady, the little one said ; very 
like a witch that girl, her eyes make one queer.' 

* Bom a lady and hungry ? ' and the gentleman stopped. 
* What nonsense you talk. How could that be ? ' and he 
went on again. * Hungry perhaps, but if so why not take 
money ? I suppose they are so used to it they don't mind 

* I don't think it was that^ uncle. I think they both 
were hungry, but something kept them from accepting 

* Do not get such notions. Miss Ingram. What should 
prevent them taking relief if they wanted it ? ' 

What, indeed ? What could the lower orders want 
with such things as decent pride and honest shame ? What 
should they have to do with self-respect or appearances ? 

* Well, uncle, I could imagine myself in their place, too 
proud ' 

* You will be good enough to recollect that I tolerate 
neither witticisms nor comparisons. If the girl was hungry 
she would have accepted your charity.! 

c 2 


So he stifled the voice that prompted him to go back 
and see if he conld not shed one raj of snnshine across 
that lonely life, and the girl walking by his side was chilled. 
She could not tell that he was arguing with himself rather 
than her. 

On, on, counting the ripples as he passed, wondering how 
many would come and go as he walked there, wondering 
how many would come and go when he was gone, and un- 
able to get rid of the strange pang caused by the sight of 
a girl's hungry fkce. 

'Didn't I do right ? ' asked Jenny, glancing protectingly 
at her fi^end. * My lady, my precious, pale lady, you're not 
vexed I didn't take the money ? ' 

* No, no, only I feel so miserable ; if I could only speak 
one word, and be answered.' 

* Speak to who, dear ? ' 

But she could not explain the vague longing, the inex- 
pressible yearning, the foolish &ncies. She could only 
shake her head, and glance back at the pair walking in the 

*The fact is,' said Miss Joice decidedly, * you're 
moped to death at your place. A good row would do you 
all the good in the world. I just wish that fellow would 
have at you when you get in.' 

Kate shuddered all over. 

* Don't say that,' she exclaimed, with a superstitious 
terror of her friend's witch-like power of realising her 

* Well, no, avoumeen, not if you don't like it. But 
wait tin I get home. It's as miserable as yerself je*re 
made me ; and see if my place isn't alive in half an hour.' 




The Thieves' Quarter, or the Thieves' Latin, as it was some- 
times designated, was not very far from the end of the Latin 
walk. Clusters of crazy evil-looking houses overlooked 
and overlapped narrow dark streets; from attic to base- 
ment squalour reigned and misery revelled. The endmost 
house seemed to merge into the dirty clay of a brickfield, 
and standing out against the bare landscape and wintry sky 
were the remains of three round towers. The one nearest 
to the Quarter was Balfe's, the middle one was unoccupied^ 
being the worst, the farthest was designated the Shivers, 
and was separated from the rest by a yellow, sluggish 

Who was Balfe ? 

Head the records of the times, get some antiquary to 
let you peep into a file of old south-country papers, and you 
will find endless fall, true, and particular accounts, word- 
portraits, minute, graphic, bold or detailed, of Balfe the 
robber ; the boldest and most defiant of all that ever became 
the terror of a country; caring for no decree except 
to exercise his ingenuity in circumventing it ; converting 
the very officers of the law into his tools and unwitting 

The tower that formed his dwelling was a crazy-looking 
building like a windmill, with rude beams placed as sup- 
ports against the wall, and consisted of three stories with 
one room on each story. In the lowest apartment Balfe 
sat brooding by the fire. Very powerfal was his gigantic 


frame, his big, muscular hands, his head with its ferocious 
mass of unkempt hair, black as night. There was power 
in the massive chin, in the square forehead ; a wonderful 
amount of energy, fierce but suppressed, lurked in the 
deep-set eyes. There was nothing vacillating about the 
man ; he was not one who mocked the devil. He was one 
who sinned with a will, and defrauded everyone but his 

He turned sharply round as the door was timidly 

* What is it you're up to ?' ho demanded. * What did I 
tell you ?' 

* I didn't think you'd be back so soon, father. I'll have 
supper directly.' 

' Never mind the supper. WTiere have you been ?' 

' On the Latin.' 

*What doing? Nothing for your livelihood, I'll be 


' No ? To be sure not. Well, you'll have to be more 
active from this date, and if you don't do it handy you'll 
get your neck in the rope, that's all. How would you like 
to swing like that fool I took you to see the other day ?' 

She grew deathly pale as that awful dread rose up 
before her; but she busied herself in preparing the rude 
supper, and there was even some little attempt at neatness. 

* Do you remember how hideously black he looked 
when the cap fell off? Do you remember his eyeballs, his 
tongue ?' 

He seemed to take a fiendish pleasure in gloating over 
her terror, in painting more vividly the images that haunted 
her life, that dogged her footsteps day and night. 

1^0 USE TBYINa. S» 

* Well, that was the penaliy he paid, not for thieving, 
mind you, but for being found out. Who was on the Latin ?' 

* Jenny Joice.' 

'She, the witch? Of course she was there, but you 
know very well it's not her I mean.' 

* There was a gentleman and a lady.' 

* What ? And not a purse ? Not a pockethandkerchief 
even ?' 

' I couldn't,' she said fiiintly. 

*Why not?' and he rose from the chair. *Are you 
going to tell me, as you did one day, that you want to bo 
honest? I tell you I would kill you — ^kill you, do you 
hear — ^before I would let you be honest. Sin, steal, lie, 
thieve, drink, if you will, but let no one of my name prate 
about honesty. Why, you could not be honest if you 
would. The very angels of heaven would flout you in that 

' No, no, no,' she interrupted eagerly. * The man said 
it didn't matter bein' poor and bad.' 

* What man?' 

* The man at the fair.' 

* Ay, ay ; I watched you while you drank in his smooth 
talk open-mouthed, and you, poor fool, believing every word 
he said, as if he wasn't saying it for money. Why, girl, 
I tell you if you went to that man, and asked him to help 
you to be honest, he would laugh in your face, and button 
up his pockets, and keep you at a seemly distance. But 
while a crowd of wretches stand round him, he will tell 
them glib enough that they can be honest and good, ay, 
and be just as glib to soothe the money out of their 
pockets; and when the coppers are gone he carries his 
smooth lies to another place. I have no coppers to get, so 


I can afford to tell the tmth, and I tell yon that sncli as 
yon and me can't be good, can't be honest. An angel £rom 
heaven conldn't raise yon np, and the people of this world 
wonldn't let yon rise if yon could. You're not wanted to 
be good, yon wouldn't be let. Heaven wonldn't, earth 
wouldn't, hell wonldn't let yon ; and what are yon to set 
yourself against three worlds ?' 

It was in vain she strove to recall the earnest words, 
the voice that rang with truth and power. Nearer, stronger, 
was the stern sophistry that demolished the beautiful fabric 
she had been erecting on such slight grounds, the wondrous 
hope that even such as she might become by some unknown 
means good, fit to walk about amongst honest people. The 
shadow of her life settled down upon her heavier and more 



Who had given the Shivers its name was never very 
clearly understood, but it was as applicable as if bestowed 
by a bishop. There was a peculiar shivery dampness about 
the whole place, that infected everything in it with the 
exception of the two occupants. It was the ghost of one 
of the round towers that had been drowned in that marshy 
brickfield; its thick walls had an unsubstantial slimy ap- 
pearance, as though a summer sun would dissolve them ; 
the earthen floor of the lower room was clayey, and had 
a peculiar graveyard odour. The loose rafters that formed 


the roof of this apartment and the floor of another were 
disconnected, and had a rotten, monldj appearance. This 
npper room was lofty, the floor of the third chamber being^ 
gone, and through openings in the roof the stars twinkled 

* I just don't believe a word of it, because he says it* 
What should he speak the truth for, I'd like to know ? ' 

It was the elf who spoke. Kate had taken advantage 
of her father's absence to go to Jenny, guessing her father 
would be out too, and she related to her Balfe's opinion. 
Miss Joice received it with the utmost contempt. 

* And why shouldn't we be good if we like ? ' she 
continued defiantly. *But tell me more about that man 
that told you all those fine things. What did he say ? 
I'll believe him.' 

' He said that we could all be good if we tried, even the 
worst of us ; that some one would help us.' 

* Of course, that's the sort of person I believe ; and oh, 
my dear, my mother was good. What else ? ' 

* He said it was a nice thing to be honest ; that it was 
wicked to steal; that it was better to do without things 
than to take them.' 

* Dear ! Did he say that too ? ' said Miss Joice 
doubtingly; then the swarthy face grew thoughtful, and 
the black eyes sought to read the mystery in the little fire, 
that flickered frantically in a vain contest with the surround- 
ing dampness. 

* I wonder why ? ' 

Kate could not tell, so she said nothing. The eight- 
day clock on the wall, battered and worn, ticked with a 
faint hollow sound, as damp a tick as could be, * I wonder 


*Yon know that my mother was good,' said Jennj 
suddenly, ' so she onght to know, and she always said the 
same. I don't see why, when Fye nothing and other people 
lots, I shouldn't help myself, but my mother used to tell 
me to try for her sake to be good. Somehow, that man's 
always so aggravating. I never wanted to, but for her 
sake I will. How did he say ? ' 

* I can't tell just,' Kate explained. ' He said a great deal, 
and I didn't forget ; but I can^t tell you, it was in long 
words, some of it.' 

Then Jenny's thoughts travelled back, and her eyes 
grew sofb with tears, except now and then a bitter light 
shot athwart her &ce. 

*"What a wicked wretch I am,' she said penitently. 
' Just like this my mother and me used to sit, and she had 
a sweet face, like you, too, aud she used to tell me that God 
did not love people who stole and told lies. She was 
always good, and I meant to be like her, and,' she added 
with energy, ' I will.' 

* How brave you are,' said Kate admiringly. 

' Yes, I'll set about it directly. I'll be respectable, see 
if I don't. I won't steal any more for Jii/m,, that I can tell 
you. That man at the fair must be a good man, Kate ; be 
talks like my mother. I'll go to him.' 

* He's gone.' 

* Dear, dear, what a bother. I'd like to set about it at 
once. It'll please my darling up there, and won't it aggra- 
vate him ? ' 

Then she travelled back again to the days so dearly 
remembered now, and she dwelt lovingly on the words 
of the mother, on her ways, and habits, and manners^ 
ending with, 


^ My mother was so respectable, and I mean to be too. 
Couldn't yoxL remember anything else that man said? 

' No ; only that we should try to go to church, and that 
we'd hear more there.' 

* Did he say that too ? My mother used to go to church, 
always, when she was a girl. Well, we'll go to church.' 

* We — go — ^to church ? ' 

* Yes ; won't it be fun ? ' 

* Daddy'd never let me.' 

*0f course he wouldn't. Won't it make them out- 
rageous ? The day after to-morrow is Sunday, and we'll go.' 
« But ' 

* Now don't you want to hear what we're to do to be 
respectable ? ' 

'Yes, but ' 

* So do I. I want to be like my darling, and so I'm 

Kate's own strong desire to see the inside of a church, 
to hear something more of the incomprehensible things she 
had heard, conquered her natural cowardice ; and the girls 
with the understanding that they would go. 



There was something wonderfolly enchanting to Jenny in 
this going to church in defiance of the storm of wrath it 
would inevitably evoke, something inexpressibly delicious 


in the preparations she was making for the act before the 
Otter's very eyes. 

She opened the damp press with the rickety key that 
grated a rusty greeting to the lock in token of long absence. 
Memories of the absent mother poured thick and fast 
around her, blinding her even to tears by their ineffable 
sweetness, as she bent tenderly over the rusty lock, loth 
to force it, loth to do anything ungentle to the simplest 
thing that had been hallowed by the touch of hands now 
at rest for ever. 

* What are you doing there, you imp ? Leave off ran- 
sacking that place.' 

The good fit passed from Jenny like the night dew before 
the sultry breath of the simoom, and with a vigorous twist 
she turned the key. The doors flew open, and revealed the 
shelves almost bare. 

Like a fury she turned on her father. 

* Thief, thief and murderer, how dare you rob the dead ? 
They weren't your things and they weren't mine — they • 
were hers.' 

He was a slimy, disagreeable-looking man. Whether 
he got his damp look from his premises, or the latter from 
him, was never accurately known, any more than who had 
first given him his appropriate nickname. He was an otter. 
Smooth and slippery, he looked as if he had just emerged 
from some dank pool ; he was bard to hold and difl&cult to 
catch. Notoriously a robber and a river smuggler, he yet 
lived openly at the Shivers, luxuriating in its watery atmo- 
sphere ; and nobody was able to afl&x with certainty any one 
particular crime that might dislodge him, though hundreds 
were morally certain of his participation in different trans- 


*Beqxiiet, whisht, I tell you/ he said, with an evil look 
in the humid eyes, a look that brought lines on the repul- 
sively smooth, oily face. ' Keep a civil tongue in yer head.' 

* I will when yo've killed me, as ye killed my mother, 
not till then.' 

There was something so fearfully vindictive in the wee 
creature's blazing eyes that he dropped his uplifted hand 
with a shudder. 

' Hit me, hit me, do ! ' she said passionately. ' I tell you 
I'll give you no peace till you kill me — or I kill you.' 

He turned away from the glittering eyes that somehow 
exerted a strange influence over him. The elf knew her 
power, and pursued him with her gaze. 

* I can afford to speak well of you then,' and a demoniac 
laugh of derisive contempt issued from the child lips, * and 
tell what a loving daughter I was to you, an' how affec- 
tionate we lived together, an' oh, so respectable. There'd 
be no one to contradict me, you know.' 

It was not pity, it was not consideration for her woful 
ignorance and wretchedness, that kept thai low-browed, 
smooth-faced man from striking her with his heavy, clammy 
hand. It was a strange mixture of remorse and supersti- 
tious fear to which the girl owed her impunity ; she was 
quickwitted enough to detect and appreciate his motives, 
and to use them to her purpose. He muttered an angry 
oath and went out, and Jenny turned with a fall heart to 
the rifled press. 

Almost everything was gone. The faded dresses that 
it had been sacrilege to touch save with reverent care, the 
shawl worn that never to be forgotten once, when the 
mother had taken her little black-eyed girl to a church far 
away, where she had dropped tears on the child's hand all 


the while, and pointed out to Jenny's greedy eyes the place 
— ^high up among well-dressed people — where she had sat 
with her mother when a girl ; where they had lingered 
after the service, loth to leaye its memory-peopled aisles, 
until the grey-headed minister, passing down, had detected 
the shrinking figures, and fancying they needed help had 
not passed by on the other side, but had come straight 
towards them ! Ah ! Jenny the orphan, witch and evil eye 
as they called her, never looked at that shawl but she saw 
the kindly smile of recognition, the tears that stood in the 
old man's eyes as he asked the mother where she had been 
since the day he married her, the way in which he shook 
hands as if with a real lady. She never folded or refolded 
the thin texture without feeling the kindly touch of his 
hand upon her head. But she would never fold it 
again; no, never, it was gone. So were the petticoats 
she had never had the heart to starch and iron, the boots 
that would have made her so decent for church ; nothing 
left but a few trifles, a pair of gloves, a little black hat, and 
a tiny pair of slippers. Her heart swelled at the desolate 
sight, but she dashed away the scalding tears and locked 
the shaky press. Looking through the place she caught 
sight of a great, heavy overcoat on a peg high up out of her 
roach ; a warm, comfortable coat, that had not yet caught 
the prevailing dampness. 

* that's it, is it ? ' and the tears burst out afresh ; ' it 
was to make his ugly carcase warm that he took her things, 
^ait— I'll match him.' 

Standing on the table wouldn't do it, nor yet putting 
the chair up ; no, nor even when the stool was put on that. 
It was very tantalising. There, almost within reach, was the 
tail of the coat, and strive as she would she could not 


even toucli it. Tlien she tried to poke it down with a stick ; 
but the coat was too heavy and refused to descend. 
She came down farious. 

* If I was only a bit taller — ah ! I have it.' 

It was a cold, wet Saturday night, but in an instant she 
was oK 

* Kitty, I just want you a minit.' 

She was sitting listlessly by the fire, and looked up in 

*It's only me, avourneen. You^re not frightened of 
me, sure ? Or have I the evil eye to you too ? ' 

There was genuine pain in her tone that brought Kate 
to herself. 

* How could you think that ? I didn't know you at all.' 

* Well, come on.' 

* I daren't. He told me not to stir ; an' if the police 
came I was to pretend to be deaf.' 

She lived in daily and nightly dread of the police. 

* It's my belief he just talks about the peelers to fright 
you,' Jenny remarked shrewdly. * If he was feared o' 
them comin' would he leave that for a present ? ' and she 
pointed to a roll of tobacco and a keg of spirits. * But 
never mind, I won't keep you long.' 

* But if he came home ? ' 

' No fear of that, and I can't do without you.' 
Thus urged, Kate crossed the wide marshy brickfield 
with Jenny, and standing on the tottering pyramid got 
down the coat. Down it came with a run, and Kate with 
it, the table having proved faithless. She fell heavily, cut- 
ting her forehead against the edge of the chair. When the 
blood was carefully washed away by the remorsefal elf, it 
proved to be but a trifling wound ; and as carefully as a 


mother guiding her child, she escorted Kate across the 
lonely field, that, with its visionary population of dead 
robbers, murderers, and highwaymen, was the sensitive 
girl's hete noir. No entreaties could prevail on her to cross 
that field at night alone, and walking with Jenny past the 
graveyard of the poor, as a small enclosure was styled, she 
shut her eyes tight. 

* You'll have to come back by yourself,' she ventured to 

* Sure, and didn't I come by myself ? Bless you, I don't 
mind them ; not at all.' 

She spoke truth. She had no fear of ghost or spirit, 
though she had a very devout belief in their existence ; she 
thought she would rather enjoy an encounter with a super- 
natural being, it would be such fun, and she would have 
said so, only she knew it would terrify the trembling coward 
beside her. It was wonderful the tenderness with which 
she treated this girl. 

* Law, I'd get the best of it,' she thought, glancing long- 
ingly at the desolate, disconnected headstones. ' I'd be a 
match for any of them.' 

* Mind, you're not to tell ; I'm going to have some fun,' 
was her parting injunction. Then she returned at full 
speed to the Shivers. Collecting everything belonging to 
her father, including his pipes and tobacco, she heaped 
them into the grate to make a bonfire, but a second thought 
caused her to rescue them, shake the dust out very peni- 
tently, and form them into a neat bundle. There was a 
mischievous sparkle in her eyes, while performing this act 
of filial duty, that reminded one forcibly of an ex-military 
clergyman exhorting his congregation to love their enemies. 
In another minute she was running full speed towards the 
Thieves' Quarter, the clothes under her arm. 


It was nearly eleven when she returned, with a lighter 
load than that she had taken. Without waiting to give a 
poke to the dying fire, though the damp almost formed in 
drops that chill heavy night, she took her needle and scissors 
and set to work. By-and-by the damp clock pointed with 
its weak bent hands to midnight, and she stopped sewing. 
The solemn click-click seemed to bring vividly before her 
a night like this, when a pale drooping woman sat by a fire- 
less grate, sewing her life into a struggle for decency. She 
remembered how when it wanted five minutes to twelve the 
patient hands had folded and put away the work, the gentle, 
iv^eary voice had called the little black-eyed companion of 
her vigils closer to the mother's side, and reminded her 
that it was just the beginning of the Sabbath. 

* But what's the use of my trying to be good ?' ex- 
claimed the elf impatiently. * I can't be good ; and mightn't 
I as well be bad outright, and not bother myself ? Who's 
to care or know that I try not to work on a Sunday ? And 
if they did know it's lazy they'd say I was. What's the 
good of my doing one thing when I can't do the others ? 
Oh, don't be angry, mother avoumeen ; I'd like to be good 
for your sake, to be like you, but I can't ; I don't know 
how, and I've nobody to tell me, and I wasn't born gentle 
and sweet, like Kitty. She's more like your own girl than 
me, but don't love her better,' and the hot tears welled up 
with the pitiftil adjuration, so childish, yet so earnestly 
addressed to the dead mother ever present to the girl's 
vivid fancy. She did not take up the work again, but 
tidied the room — ^that was her principle of action ; to leave 
everything at sixes and sevens during the week for her 
&ther's benefit, but everything must be put in order for 
her mother on Sundays — and finally ensconced herself on 

VOL. I. D 


an old settle. The upper loft was her usual sleeping- 
place, but slie chose to remain below to-night to enjoy the 

Asleep, the Otter thought, when he came in at two ; but 
the bright eyes watched him as he struck a light, and, after 
depositing something heavy almost at her feet, tried to 
blow up the fire. Some pieces of a broken pipe attracted 
his attention, and kicking it out of his way he stumbled 
over half a roll of the finest tobacco. 

* At her tricks again,' he muttered sulkily, 

* You may say that,' remarked Jenny, sotto voce. 

He started as his eye fell on the crouched-up figure, 
and he glanced from his daughter to the bundle. 

*Here, get up, and see if you can get me some supper.' 

* What ?* said the girl sleepily. 

* What ?' and he mimicked her sleepy tone. ' You're 
sleepy, you are, dreadful ; only yer eyes are as peart as if 
ye wor just after yer fit of divilry.' 

* I can't help if my eyes aren't as dull as yours,' she 
replied, rubbing the offending organs with great contrition. 

* Get some supper.' 

*An' where was I to get supper?' said Jenny indig- 
nantly, now very broad awake indeed. * Suppers don't 
grow anywhere that I know of; and if they did I'd let 
them stay for your picking.' 

' Do you mean to say there's nothing to eat ?' 

' It's just what I mean, ^d what you'd mean if you 
wor as hungry as me.' <j 

'Why didn't you get something somewhere ?' he asked 
furiously. * D'ye think I'll keep you here doin' nothin' ?' 

* I tell you what,' and the elfish eyes took a look he 
didn't like ; * it's not a bit of good tryin' it on ; you wouldn't 


make me feared, not if ye strangled me ; for I'd die with a 
consolation my poor mother hadn't — ^that you'd be hung for 
me. I'll steal for myself ; but don't think I'm fool enough 
to do it for you.' 

For answer he flung the bottle containing the candle 
at her ; but, quick as thought, she bobbed her head. 

* Maybe you don't want this piece of candle,' she re- 
marked, as he proceeded to strike a match. ' I saved it for 
you particular, 'cos I know you don't like saying [your 
prayers in the dark when ye've a good run of luck.' 

He picked up the candle-end and stuck it in the bottle, 
which had escaped breakage. Then he rummaged about 
for food, but in vain ; the cupboard was bare and most 
aggravatingly clean. A stone jar of spirits was all ho 
could find ; that had been protected by a lock unusually 
strong, which had defied Jenny's deft fingers. 

' Go on up to your bed, you jade.' 

* Not if I know,' said Jenny sturdily. * They're goin" 
on like mad up there to-night, and I'm too sleepy to want 
to be kept awake.' 

* None of yer humbuggin' ; get out of my way.' 

* It's no humbuggin',' and the eerie eyes fixed him 
with their solemn gravity. ' Just listen ! You can go up 
there, if you like, but I'm not.' 

A faint, low, rustling sound swept through the loft as 
she spoke. 

' That's nothin',' she continued ; * it's the dancin' and 
the twitchin' I've objections "to ; and they're not content 
if I don't join in. Just give a look up, and ye'll see them 
capering and grinning ; all the bones shaking in the skin. 
Don't you hear that rattle ? ' 

There was a rattle up above, as of loose bones and 

D 2 


sknlls shaken together. The candle, too, was nearly burnt 
ont, and the exasperated Otter conld find not one, though 
he always took especial care to keep a good supply. 

* Where's the candles, yon imp ? ' he demanded, shaking 
the girl, who again slept soundly. 

* What ? ' said Jenny. 

* The candles.' 

* There's none.' 

* You lie. There wor eight last night.' 

* WeU, I had three for my breakBeist ; an' two for my 
supper ; and one I burnt ; and that bit I saved ye, 'cos I 
know you hate to be in the dark.' 

He turned away from the gibing look of derision, and 
sat down by the fire, now and then watching his daughter. 

* She'd hang me if I gev her the chance,' he solilo- 
quised, glancing frt>m her to the bundle. 'But how am 
I to get it out of the way in the dark ? Besides, she'll 
hear the chink.' 

At last he ventured to remove the beavy parcel 
cautiously, and locked it up with the jar. When he turned, 
the bright eyes were wide open, and had a mischievous 
glitter. But she merely said, 

*That tobacco's awful hard. I kicked agen it. I 
wonder was that what brought Brennan here at twelve ? 
He was sitting there, just opposite where yer chair is ; the 
rope wasn't round his neck, only the black mark, and his 
dead cap was pushed up off his face.' 

Gretting no reply to her speculation, she desisted, 
and whether the Otter was asleep or awake, only the 
solemn cHck-click fell with a dull muffled sound on the 
damp atmosphere. 

The Otter awoke late ; he could hardly believe his eyes 


when he saw his daughter sitting at the door. The tiny- 
lithe form was draped in a very old black silk of scant 
dimensions ; a high black straw hat was perched on her 
head, which, together with the quaint fashon of the dress, 
gave her a queer, old-world look. A narrow scarlet ribbon 
round the slender throat bespoke the girl's innate coquetry, 
but her whole pride was in her slippers. Those slippers 
had very long toes, with huge rosettes and enormous 
buckles. Daintily as a duchess on her crimson cushions sat 
Jenny on her three-legged stool ; her red lips curled with 
conscious pride ; the morning sunlight bathing her sallow 
cheeks and irregular features in a light of beauty. 

' What's up ? ' exclaimed the Otter ; but Jenny, after 
a superbly disdainful glance, returned to the contemplation 
of her shppers. 

Misgivings began to assail the Otter. 

* I'm near froze with the cold. What have ye done 
with my coat ? I thought it was out of j-our reach. Did 
you eat that too ? * 

' No, I didn't eat that,' said Jenny composedly. * I put 
ifc on me. How does it fit ? ' 

* An' you tuk my coat ? It's a broken head you'll be 
getting, my fine lady.' 

* I'd be only the more Hke you then. Everybody says 
yer cracked.' 

* I'd advise everybody, and you too, to mind their own 

* Oh, we do, and mind yours too for you. Don't be 
ungrateful, or you might find my friends worse than the 
bobbies or the bailiffs. It isn't a Hobbs' lock 'ud keep them 
from — ^tobacco. I know them, and they understand me 
so well.' 


'I've no doubt they do,' growled the Otter, amused, 
in spite of himself, at her audacity. * What fit is on you 
to dress yourself out ? It's not a bit of use ; you're more 
like a witch than ever.' 

^ I know, I can't help it, sure, and neither can you,' 
and she fixed upon him a malignant look, that in broad 
daylight made him shudder. 

* I daren't trust her,' he muttered, as she departed un- 
opposed. * She'd turn agen me in a twinklin', and there's 
no knowin' where to have her. She says she's dangerous^ 
and, faith, I believe her.* 



tlNDEft the giant beech trees in the gentl Latin the Sab- 
bath shone with a peaceful [splendour, that glorified into 
something like beauty the pinched faces of the two girls, 
the witch and the lady of the Latin, as her companions 
derisively called her. The same title was given her by 
Jenny, but not in mockery, not even in sport, but in sober 

* I was a'most feared you wouldn't come,' said Jenny 
Joice ; and Kate, after glancing nervously up and down to 
see if none of her tormentors were in sight, began to forget 
her dread of the juvenile tyrants, who almost as much as 
the police rendered her life miserable, in admiration of 
Miss Joice. 


* But what sort of a dress is it ? ' she asked, puzzled, 
almost afraid to touch. 

' Why, silk, to be sure,' ejaculated Jenny, a little indig- 
nantly. ' Is it that you don't know silk when you see it ? * 

* Yes,* said Kate apologetically ; * I see it's silk, but it's 
not quite like that young lady's dress.' 

* No, not quite,' said Jenny, reflectively scanning her 
costume ; ' but,' she added, after a moment's pause, * her's 
was green and white, and this is black,' 

*Yes,' said Kate again. She had not divined that the 
fabric was silk ; it was not exactly what she had pictured 
to herself under the title of a silk dress ; but she thought it 
very nice, and said so. 

' Yes, I think I look very nice,' said Miss Joice, a good 
deal soothed ; ' and now I want a look at you.' 

f Elate had not procured any adornment ; the only prepara- 
tion she had been able to make was to wash her hands and 
face very clean, and to make some rough repairs in her 
ragged dress. 

' It's sweet and pretty you look, my lady of the Latin,' 
said Miss Joice ; * but your hair will never do, mavoumeen, 
so sit till I settle it.' 

It was her pride and delight to comb and plait Kate's 
hair at every opportunity, and she was provided with a 
broken comb. With wonderful care and not a little taste 
she piled the braids on the small head, while Kate related 
how her vagabond playmates had espied her clean face, and 
had followed her with gibes and jeers, and missiles of every 
description, till she had outrun them. They were one of 
the two terrors of her life, and despite Jenny's advice and 
protection she could not face them bravely. She shrank^ 


quivering, from their cruel attacks, in a way that made Miss 
Joice at once enraged and pitifiil. 

'Never mind, my dear,' she said, having made the hair, 
soft and silky in spite of neglect, look glossy in the sun- 
shine. * They're an ugly lot and they know it, and they hate 
you 'cos you're just a lady.' 

* I don't want to be, I'm sure, if that's ' 

* Don't be a baby,' said Miss Joice. ' You can't help 
bein' a lady no more nor I can bein' a witch.' 

As she spoke she took up with great tenderness and 
began to undo the parcel she had laid so carefully under 
the trees. Softly, lingeringly, she unpinned it, and brought 
to light a hat, a plain, common white straw hat, with not a 
bit of trimming save a blue ribbon tied in a bow at the 
back ; but perfectly new, and a marvel of beauty in the eyes 
of the witch and the lady of the Latin. There was a 
strange contrast between its freshness and simplicity and 
Jenny's quaint, odd attire. 

' Isn't it a darling ? ' sighed Miss Joice admiringly. 

* Yes, isn't it ? and quite new too.' 

* You see, my dear, it's a red ribbon I'd a' got, only 
you're always talking about that blue hat at the fair, so I 
thought you'd hke it better.' 

* Me ? it's not for me it is ? ' 

* It's for yourself it is, and nobody else ; so now make 
it look pretty, and put it on, avoumeen.' 

It was something worth while to see, that vagrant girl's 
incredulous wonder, that strange, ill-looking elf smiling out 
her satisfaction, till the spirit of contentment changed her 
being and transformed her countenance with a radiant 
beauty, totally independent of a plain face, a sallow com- 
plexion, heavy eyebrows and deep-set eyes, into a some- 


thing glorious to look upon. Yes, it was worth a walk in 
the Latin that peaceful Sabbath morning, in the chequered 
autumn sunshine, falling through the spreading branches ; 
and so thought Robert Dalzell, as he watched the children 
from a distance. 

* It's not for me, sure ? ' said Kate, quite stunned with 
the munificence of the gift. * Oh, I can't take it ; your's 
isn't half as nice.' 

' Now, don't bother ; sure, I could'nt wear a white hat, 
and me near a black ? ' 

* But how could you think of me ? ' 

* An' who else would I be thinkin' of, alanna machree ? 
Didn't I know ye couldn't go to church without a hat, and 
did I want ye to do what a lady wouldn't do ? There's the 

The sound drew them irresistibly on. The two little 
Pariahs, hitherto debarred from every chance of contact 
with the respectable portion of mankind, found themselves 
impelled to join the throng, in spite of a conviction, un- 
shapen but felt, that they had no place among those neatly- 
dressed people, who with prayer-books in their hands and 
ceremonies in their hearts looked askance at the two queer 
figures, hurrying past with a queer mixture of boldness and 

The bells had almost done ringing, and Jenny resolved 
to give up looking for the church her mother had taken 
her to years ago, and to enter the next she came to. It 
was a large, handsome proclamation of a rich man's piety, 
and not seeing any entrance but the one, they followed a 
group of ladies into the porch. The ladies went in, and 
the little outcasts went in too, heedless of the enquiring 
eyes turned upon them. The sexton was not in the way, 


and they slipped into one of the first seats thej came to, 
which was cushioned and carpeted. 

Not a word did they exchange. No two duchesses 
could have been more perfectly decorons than this out- 
landish pair from the Thieves' Quarter, who were in feet 
strangely impressed with the solemnity of the occasion. 
To sit in a place of worship, amongst decently-clad, decently- 
behaved people, as if of them, was a very novel situa- 
tion, and produced novel feelings in minds uncultivated 
yet so keenly alive to impressions, hungering after some- 
thing better and nobler than their poor stunted lives could 
afford, hungering and thirsting after goodness though they 
knew it not, groping in utter darkness for a light that had 
never dawned upon them. 

Tier upon tier of pews, row upon row of grave, silent 
people, line upon line of expectant faces, all waiting, all 
watching. So many good people ! And to be amongst 
them, doing as they did, waiting and watching as did those 
people, who came Sunday after Sunday to God's House, 
who never stole, or lied, or swore, who were all good, all 
respectable ! No wonder those children's eager eyes dilated, 
no wonder the excited pulses throbbed, no wonder the ear- 
nest look scanned wonderingly, almost fearfully, the mighty 
dome with its fretted roof, its gilded cornices, its massive 
pillars, its crowded occupants. 

. Hush ! Stealing on their ears, rising, rolling, spreading, 
pealing through the vaulted aisles, sinking, wailing, dying 
in the vast cathedral, overpowering their senses with its 
wondrous spell, comes a mighty rushing sound. Louder 
and louder yet, till the untutored hearts swell and heave, 
till they feel that another note must cause them to break 
in hysterical agony; then softer and softer grow the 


6ti*ains ; fainter, slower, are the cadences ; once again the 
wild sweet notes thrill the listening ears, then die away as 
a white-robed minister bows his head in homage to a 
Supreme Invisible. 

Entranced they drink in the tidings proclaimed by a 
solemn, sonorous voice ; words spoken rather than read, 
words of comfort/ beautiful words, that fall on the ear of 
each little Arab like the remembrance of some forgotten 
dream. Then the organ peals forth a joyful strain, hun- 
dreds of voices join the music, and there echoes in the 
stupendous building a jubilant sound that an archangel 
might listen to, that goes up surely to a greater than an 
archangel. Then all the congregation kneel reverently, all, 
from the highest to those httle waifs who kneel in imitation 
of the other people, while the white-haired minister makes 
intercession to some great Unknown for them — ^for them, 
surely, for does he not pray for miserable sinners ? — ^while 
all around join in the entreaty, and help to implore mercy 
for those two outcasts. 

Oh ! it was beautiful, entrancing. 

During the service a gentleman entered the pew, but 
he did not disturb the first occupants. Perhaps he had a 
fancy for curiosities ; perhaps he thought there was room 
enough for all. He ensconced himself in his comer, and 
the children enjoyed their treat without annoyance from 
the horrified beadle, who at a sign from the gentleman left 
them unmolested. 

It was over very soon the children thought ; though my 
Lord Woodenhead yawned a great many times up in the 
front pew, and wondered what Mr. Elia could find to say 
so long about the old, old story. Then the well-dressed 



congregation trooped ont with a pnsh, and a msh, and a 
crash, rery unseemly to any bat chorch-goers. 

'What heT yon been np tor' demanded the beadle, 
laying his heavy hand on Kate's shonlder. She looked 
np with a start and a gasp, and a white face of conscious 

Miss Joice came to the rescue. 

* It's to charch we've been, as ye'd know if yon wor 
attendin' to yonr business.' 

*It's to your business I'll attend purty soon. Nice 
spectacles ye are to go to church, and in the centre aisle 

' If we got seats we needn't thank you for them.' 

* Faith, ye may say that, you rapscallion. How many 
pockets have ye picked since eleven ?' 

* Sure, we don't want to intrude on your pickin's,' said 
Miss Joice, with much politeness. 

People began to pause and gather round, and the beadle 
grew exasperated. 

' Hillo, Bill, run for a peeler.' 

A faint cry burst from Kate, as she stretched out her 
hands to Jenny. Miss Joice responded by clasping the 
weak little hands in hers, as she faced the beadle. 

* Leave go that girL I tell you, you'd better.' 

* I will, Miss,' said the beadle, with cutting irony, * as 
soon as the policeman comes.' 

* She's done nothin', only come to church. Leave go, or 
she'll die. Oh ! do take me instead. I done nothin', but I 
don't care a pin. Oh ! you are a great big coward ; you 
take her 'cos she's afeard, and you don't dare touch me 
'cos I'm able for ye.' 

A hearty guffaw burst from the worthy, as he looked 


down at the diminutive form that asserted itself as being 
able for a beadle six foot two in his stockings, to say nothing 
of his boots. 

* I don't think you need detain those children,' said a 
gentleman passing. * They sat in my pew during service, 
and behaved very well.' 

' Bless you, sir, they're no good. Look at 'em,' 

* That is possible ; but I suppose it would be rather hard 
to punish these untaught, ill-clad, pinched starvelings for 
not being what neither you nor I, well-fed, well-clothed, 
well-taught, can become. At any rate, I would not, if I 
were you, punish them for trying to be a little less wicked 
once in a way.' 

* Does yer honour know where they come from ? The 
Tliieves' Latin, and they're thieves, every one, sure enough. 
Why, that's a new hat, and that's stolen, you can see.' 

* No, it's not,' interrupted Miss Joice. * I bought it.' 

* Don't believe her, sir. If she did, she stole what paid 
for it.' 

' Possibly ; but I can bear witness that these girls have 
not stolen since ten this morning, and I believe your juris- 
diction is confined to church hours.' 

* All right, sir ; if it's your fancy, they may go. It's not 
for the likes of me to know better than you,' and he re- 
leased his hold, adding, sotto voce, * Plase the pigs they'll 
give you a taste of their honesiy,' 

Ereed from that stem grip, from the scrutiny of all 
those gaping eyes, Kate hurried on, every nerve tingling 
with dread and shame and horror of that curious, inqui- 
sitive, merciless throng, who slew her with cold, keen, 
contemptuous, prying glances, that sought to read into her 
miserable^ degraded life, and leave her no poor shelter of 


privacy. Proudly defiant and passionate, Jenny walked 
beside her, while Bobert Dalzell followed more slowly, all 
three wondering whether there was any enconragement to 
come again. 


balfe's puzzle, going to seek heb fortune. 

* Kate ! ' said the elf suddenly, * how I ought to hate that 

' He didn't hurt me,' Elate said bravely* Coward as 
she was she seldom cried over a danger past. 

* I didn't mean that wretch. I'll pay him off some day, 
depend upon it. But I meant Aim,' and she jerked her 
hand towards the Shivers. 

* Your father, Jenny ? ' 

* Don't call him that,' and the girl's black eyes gleamed 
like stars. * I tell you, again and again, he's no father to 
me. I hate him, agra, and good reason I have for that 
same. Who is it I may thank that I can't go inside a 
church door, no matter how my heart may crave to kneel 
where my mother knelt ? Who is it that has brought me 
up a thief, a scarecrow, to be flouted by all good people ? 
My father. Oh, Kitty, if I was dead ! ' 

* Who says you're a thief or a scarecrow ? ' demanded 
K^te, roused to indignation by the intense misery of the 
girl's tones. * You're better than all them you call so 

* What's the good of taHdug ? ' said Jenny Joico 

balpe's puzzle, going to seek HEB POETUNE. 4T 

moumfally. * I know what I know ; and I see what I see ; 
and it's to-day I saw more than I ever saw in my life 
before. Oh, my dear, if you knew how miserable I felt 
when I sat in that grand church and looked at all those 
respectable people, not one ridiculous, only me, you'd 
wonder I didn't run out. I would have — only I waa^ 

'You worn't ridiculous. I thought we were very 

* You were. Nothing would make you look bad. That 
was the only thing that comforted me ; you looked such 
a lady, dear.' 

Words that seemed so cruel in their ironical bitter- 
ness coming from irate neighbours, sounded pleasant and 
amusing when spoken by Jenny ; and Kate laughed quietly, 
without debating what she had come to look upon as a 
standing joke. 

* I can't stand it any longer,' said Jenny, suddenly 
coming to a dead stop and facing round; *and what'a 
more, I wont.' 

* What can you do ? ' was the timid query. 

' I've done my best to plague him, and I plague myself 
a great deal more than him. I can't stand it no longer ; 
and I can't plague him any more without downright 
hanging work.' 

' Jenny, Jenny, what do you mean ? ' 

Heedless of her companion's white, scared face, she 
walked on a few steps, stopped again, and spoke slowly. 

' I'll run away.' 

Kate heaved a sigh of relief. Then the fatally vivid 
imagination that was her portion portrayed before her, in 
all its blackness, what her life would be without Jenny. 


Jenny, who stood between her and the indignation of slat- 
ternly, drunken women, who demanded loudly why Balfe's 
daughter shouldn't drink rum and whisky if it pleased 
ihem to give it to her ; Jenny, who stood between her and 
the petty but all-terrible persecutions of the boys and 
^irls of her own age, whose ways were not her ways and 
never could be, she felt, though she could assign no reason 
for it, since she had never seen any other ; Jenny, who 
neither scrupled nor feared to bully Balfe, the king of them 
all, when it was necessary. In the first abandonment 
of her terror she clung to the lithe little creature, whose 
black eyes had a strange &r-away look just now, crying 

* Don't leave me by myself, Jenny.' 

' Sure it's not that I was ever thinkin' of,' Jenny said 
in surprise. * You must come.' 

* Yes ; how could I go without you ? ' 

Kate shook her head slowly, and untwined her arms. 
Hiding, as well as she could, the despair that sickened her, 
she commenced her woman's life of suffering and self- 
abnegation; commenced it with an unconsciousness that 
made it sublime. 

' No, I daren't go ; but you. must.' 

* Not without you.' 

* I couldn't — sure, I daren't.* 

^ But think, alanna machree, we could be away from all 
them people that we hate ; and we could be honest, 
avoumeen, like my mother.' 

It was strangely thrilling, that voice, now, attuned to 
such true harmony by the one beautiful thought of her 

BALFE's puzzle. going to seek HEE fortune. 49 

* You should have seen- how the minister shook hands 
with her that day, that one day in her life when he let her 
go to church. Yes, he shook hands with her, she was 
BO respectable, my mother, so honest ; for her sake I want 
to be honest too. And there — well, we might have the 
minister to shake hands with us, too, if we got away from 
here ; a minister just like that minister. Kate, you must 

It was all too attractive a picture ; but still the girl 
shook her head. 

* Then I won't go.' 

* Oh, you must. Yes, dear, you must be respectable. 
It'll make me so happy, even if I'm never respectable 

* You ? It's nothin' else you'll be, no matter where you 
are. It's yerself is more like my mother's child than 

* Where have you been ? ' queried Balfe. 

The girl trembled in every limb, but there was a fatal 
mesmeric power for her in those relentless eyes that com- 
pelled the truth. 

* To church.' 

Had she said to heaven the robber could not have 
looked more amazed. Then a fear of a baffled plan lowered 
over his stern visage, and shot forth in the fierce, lurid 
light of his eyes. Rising, he grasped her with no brutal 
grasp, but with a stem force that exemplified startingly 
the way in which he held her spirit. 

' To chuTch ? You to church ? You, whom I have 
dedicated to hell and darkness and vengeance ; do you dare 
to go to a church ? ' 

There was something very terrible in the livid wrath of 

YOL. I. £ 


this man, something before which a stronger spirit might 
have quailed. 

* You at church, listening to preaching and good words ? 
Is it baflfle me that way, you would ? I tell you you can't 
doit. Do you think 1*11 be put -aside that way? What 
did you learn ? Tell me that I may root it out.' 

She made no answer, and unconsciously he tightened 
his grasp. 

* What was the text ? You've a glib memory enough, 
as I know.' 

Is there anything too hard for the Lord? 

* Honour thy father and mother.' 

His hold relaxed ; looking down at the white face a new 
fear struck him. Holding her tightly as he did, he felt 
that she was slipping out of his grasp in a way he had 
never bargained for. The new sensation was strangely 
tempered with a pity that grew greater as the girl, gaining 
courage from the stupor it produced, ventured to speak. 

* Father, I want to be good, only won't you help me ?' 

* Help you ? Me ? Are you mad, that you come to me 
to help you to be good ? To me, that have sworn by every 
oath that is binding to damn you to the lowest pit ?' 

Some great spell was on the girl, or she could never 
have spoken as she did. 

•But why, father? I want to be good, and I can't, I 

* Of course you can't. Do you think it's for the like of 
you to be good ? Poor, and the child of a thief ! I tell 
you heaven is like the first-class carriages ; you can't pay 
for 'em, and they're not for you. Let me hear no more of 
this,' he added in a calmer tone. * It's your first and last 
going to church,* 

balfe's puzzle, going to seek her fortune. 61 


She did not answer for a moment. 

* The minister said I might get good, even if I had no 
one to teach me.' 

The answer did not please him, but he could not in any 
reason take exception to it. She lit up the fire that had 
gone out, and still the great spell was on her, and still ho 
remained almost stupefied with that new sensation of hei' 
sHpping out of his grasp, even while he held her fast. 

It became clearer to him now — the strange natural 
sweetness that had long puzzled him, that had resisted all 
his efforts to destroy. He no longer wondered so much 
that she performed loving little offices despite his harsh 
manner. But still he wondered a little, and his curiosity 
at last found vent, 

* What made you wish to go to church, of all places ?* 
The water bubbling on the hearth, the unusually gentio 

tones of his voice, all conspired to give her courage, and 
she went closer to the moody man. 

* I thought if I learnt to be good, sure, you*d like me a 
little, father ?' 

* What ? What do I do to you ?' 

* Nothing,' she said, shrinking a little at the sudden 
fierceness ; *but I don't think you like me.' 

He laughed a sardonic, bitter laugh. 

* And why shouldn't I like you ?' 

* Maybe it's because I'm so unhandy. If I was useful 
would you like me ?' 

He did not answer, except to stare at her as she re- 
turned to her watch by the fire. Suddenly he spoke. 

* Question for question is fair, I suppose. Do you like 

* Yes, father.' 

B 2 


She said it with a grare simpHcitr that staggered him^ 
for it was the tmth. She was craTing for the sympathy 
she had never known, and wonld hare given all the little 
enjoyment she had ever known in her poor li£& to hear him 
call her his own little girl, as even the Otter had once 
termed Jenny. 

Then he got angiy with himself and with her. What 
had he ever done ihskt she should reproach him for not 
liking her P She mnst bother him with no more of those 
notions that he could not account for her possessing. 
^Vliere had she got them?* Who had taught herP He 
puzzled himself over the question, as many a wiser man 
has done before and since, and with the same result. 

^ Yon don't feel sorry to go P' Kate queried, as a few 
nights after the two firiends braved the wintry wind. The 
plan had ripened into action, and Jenny was going. Full 
of great plans and noble emprise, grand resolves and high 
hopes, she was going, like some heroine of old, out in the 
world to seek her fortune. 

' Sorry to leave you, Kate. It's almost wishin* I am 
that I wasn't going.' 

* You mustn't wish that, sure. But don't you feel just 
a little sorry ' 

' For him P No, no, no, a thousand times, no. Ah ! it's 
not so much for anythiDg he's ever done to me that I hate 
him so bitter, though, sure, I have cause enough for that, 
too. But that's not it — ^he killed my mother. Why should 
he be regretted P Oh ! if it wor that first true love, that 
man that she blessed dying, then you might ask me if I 
was sorry for him ; aye, if he treated me like a dog. I'm 
goin' to look for him.' 

' To look for him ?' repeated Elate admiringly. 


* It*s find him I will afore I rest.' 

* And then?' 

* Then ? I'll serve him like a slave, I'll watch between 
him and harm ; it's give my life I wonld for him — the man 
who loved my mother.' 

There was an indescribably exquisite pathos in her 
sharp, shrill voice as she spoke the last words. Lingering 
on them like a loving echo, loth to lose the melodious 
sounds, she repeated slowly, ecstatically — 

* The man who loved my mother.' 

* He loved her very much ? ' 

* You may say that. When every friend turned the cold 
shoulder to the woman that lived in the Thieves' Latin, he 
brightened her life to the last. It was a comfort to her in 
all her troubles, somehow, and she had a great many. It 
must be very beautiful to be loved like that, mustn't it ? ' 
and the elfs eyes had a strange dreai^iy, questioning look 
very foreign to them, for Miss Joice was not in general 
given to abstract speculations. 

* Yes,' said Kate thoughtfully. This sentence of Jenny's 
seemed to give shape to the thoughts that had haunted her 
so long. 

* But won't it be nice when you're comin' to me, 
acushla ? ' Jenny added, reverting to the practical. 

* I don't care to talk of that,' and again came the 
moumfril shake of the head. * Daddy says it's not for the 
like of me to be honest, and I'm only a miserable coward, 
you see. But if I should never get away from here, it's 
glad in my heart I am that you're going to be good and 

* Like my mother,' whispered Jenny softly. * I never 
saw her cry like the day he made me run away with some 


gingerbread from a stall, and it's fine fun it was to me to 
be so smart ; but I never done it again wbile I bad ber. 
Wben I lost ber — ab ! it*s bad, bad I got. But it wasn't 
all me,' sbe added rebelliously, * I couldn't belp it.' 

* An' I can't,' burst from Kate, almost involuntarily, as 
sbe interlaced ber fingers and cowered in tbe degradation 
tbat day by day was tbrusting itself upon ber growing 
spirit, tbat day by day took a more decided and a more 
terrible sbape, tbat day by day pressed ber closer, till tbe 
time sbould come tbat tbere sbould be no escape. 

* To be sure you can't ; tbat is you couldn't if you 
weren't sucb a bom lady. But keep a good beart, acusbla 
macbree, darling of my beart, for it's myself '11 come and 
take ye if ye can't run away.' 

*Ye must go,' Kate wbispered, wondering wbat sbe 
sbould do wben Jenny was gone. 

' How tbey'U be gn to you wben tbey miss me.' 

* I'll never tell.' 

* Sure, you needn't tell me tbat ; but ye're sucb a little 
frigbtened bit of a tbing. Ab ! I baven't tbe beart to 
leave you.' 

* Ob, ye wouldn't be after tumin' back now,' said Kate 
vebemently. * But Jenny — supposin' ye never come back — 
couldn't ye forgive bim afore ye go ? Just one good word 
an' I'll give it to bim — ^your fatber.' 

* I couldn't, I couldn't, Kate. It would kill me to speak 
tbe words.' 

Terribly earnest, passionately earnest, were tbe lurid 
eyes, tbe curves of tbe quivering moutb, tbe dilating 

* Tben, good-bye, dear; you mustn't. stay.' 

Poor little coward. Ab ! it is sucb cowards who do 


tilings that make brave men shrink. Not a sob betrayed 
that she was losing the one whose ever-ready arm stood 
alone between her and the brutality of the people amongst 
whom she lived, whose biting tongue hurled from her all 
the coarseness flung at the * lady,' and held her scatheless. 
And Jenny, fiery, passionate, dauntless Jenny, with all the 
world before her ; only for a moment did she sufler herself 
to cling to the fragile form with a nameless dread jarring 
the music of her burden. 

* I'll coipe for you.' The good-byes were as bravely 
spoken as though each was a princess surrounded by guar- 
dians and subjects, instead of a little waif with no atten- 
dant train save the wintry night- wind, no crowd of wit- 
nesses save the solemn stars that looked down in their 
illimitable grandeur and solemnity on that leave-taking. 



* Slipping through my fingers, sure as a gun. Balfe, 
this'U never do to be fooled afther eleven years by a bit of 
a girl that ye could break in two.' 

The master of the first round tower was eating his 
breakfast as he grumbled these words to himself. Plash, 
plash, went the rain over the brickfield, plash, plash, in the 
pools, thud, thud, on the heavy, clayey soil. * It must be 
dreadfully damp over at the Shivers,' Kate thought, * and 


very lonely,' she added to herself, with some pity for the 

It seemed only an additional plash when the door was 
poshed open without ceremony, and the Otter stood npon 
the threshold, wet and limp, and with pecnliar lines marked 
on his usually immobile, smooth, shiny &ee, lines that did 
not seem to belong to that oily face, lines into which the 
rain had somehow got, and trickled down while he spoke. 

* Is my girl here ? ' 

* No,' said Balfe gruffly. * What'd your girl be doing 
here this hour ? ' 

' It's that same I want to find out.' 

* Is it momin' visitors we're goin' to have, that you 
stand starin* there like a fool ? ' demanded Balfe impatiently. 
* Out with whatever ye've got to say.' 

* Your girl could tell if she liked.' 

* What could she tell ? ' 

* Where's my Jenny ? ' 
She had been trained to lie. 

* I don't know.' 

* You lie, ye do.' 

* An' what is it to you, ye spalpeen of a fish, if she 
does?' growled Balfe, irritated at the other's tone. 

' Don't ye turn agen me,' interposed the Otter almost 
piteously. * We've bin partners many's the day, and woxdd 
ye turn agen me now ? Look here,' and he turned to Kate, 
pulling a handful of copper and silver out of his waistcoat 
pocket. * It's just a run of luck I've got, and I'll double 
that if you'll tell me where's my girl.' 

* I dunno,' the girl said stoutly. 

He dashed down the money with a sort of despair, and 


turned to the door. Balfe was struck by the earnestness 
of his gesture, and called after him, * Where to P * 

* To the river,' said the lesser robber, glancing round 
with a white terror glazing his oily face. * She told me 
she'd do it. Poor Jenny, poor Susie's child.' 

Quivering with the keenest sympathy, Kate stood 
watching the open door, the plashing pools. No ! she could 
not let him go with that look on his face, that fear in his 
heart, and rushing out of the house she called after him 
till he turned. 

* Jenny's not in the river.' 

* How do yon know ? ' 

* She told me so.' 

The man gave a gasp of relief. 
' Where is she ? ' 
*I dunno.' 
*Yon do!* 

* Well, T won't tell then.' 
*No? We'Usee.' 

Hasty and excited still, the Otter re-entered the cabin. 

* It's partners we wor this many a day, ay, sure, this 
many a year for the matther of that, and will ye turn agen 
me for a girl ? ' 

' Don't give me any of your sentiment if yon want me 
to help yon,' interposed Balfe, in a tone of intense dis- 
gnst. * Perhaps it's many a day, and perhaps it isn't, but 
if it were as many years as it is days there'd be no hold on 
me ; for the first sneakin' turn yon done me I'd pitch ye 
over. I let other people look out for themselves.' 

* Ay, to be sure, that's fair and raisonable, it is ; but 
yonr bark is worse than your bite.' 

* What do yon want ? ' 


' Xow, look here, chief- 

' Xone o' your blarney,' interrupted the bigger robber, 
rising with sudden fierceness ; ' none o' your chiefin' her«. 
Do you think I want you to tell me Fm the best of you r ' 

' It's a spirit you've got, it is,' persisted the slimy man, 
as if unable to help hinisel£ ^Well now, partner, your 
girl says she knows where my youngster is, and I can't 
make her tell ; can you r ' 

Could he ? Of course he could. Surely he could 
bend a stronger will than that possessed by this poor little 
craven, who shrank firom his very look. 

* Where is the girl ? ' 

Unconsciously he took a tone of supreme command, that, 
spite of his coarse garb and villainous hair, had nothing of 
the grotesque in it, and elicited admiring sighs from the 
Otter. He knew the strange mesmeric power his voice 
and glance had over that weak, &ail girl, and he wondered 
she did not respond to it. But though she quailed and 
quivered she did not speak. 

* Why don't you speak ? ' he demanded, bending closer 
to her the lurid eyes that seemed to her excited fancy to 
emit living sparks. She continued to gaze, as if fascinated 
by the magnetism of his voice and touch ; but her lips 
formed no word. But, what ! should she not only slip 
through his fingers, firom his tight grasp, but defy him in 
the meanwhile ? He raised his right hand, while with the 
other he tightened his vice-Uke grip. A shriek burst firom 
her pale lips, a piteous entreaty. 

* Oh, don't beat me, feither ! ' 
'Will you tell?' 

A deadly white overspread her face ; her lips shaped 
the word* No.' 


A blow — a heavy, cruel, crushing blow, from a hand 
that seldom missed its aim, a hand that left its mark where 
it fell — and the fair white temple was bruised and broken, 
and the tangled hair grew clammy in the blood that oozed 

There was a stillness like death in the first-floor of that 
old round tower. Plash, plash, went the pools, and thud, thud, 
went the rain-drops on the clayey brickfield, and it seemed 
as if that ceaseless plashing was but the blood trickling 
down, that dull thud the echo of that cruel blow. Balfe 
stiU held the girl firmly ; the Otter still stood with a curious 
expression on his fish-like countenance ; such as a Premier's 
private secretary might wear when he found his master 
tripping. But the robber's voice involuntarily, un- 
consciously, took a lower tone as he bent yet again to 
speak. The Otter held his breath to catch the answer, 
while the oily eyes opened wide to show their puzzled 

* Wm you tell now ? ' 

Pale, oh, very pale and very fair, grew that young face, 
soiled and spattered with blacks and mud, and smeared with 
the rain-drops and the blood that trickled down. Pale and 
fair, in all its dirt and squalor, and pinched misery, and 
hungry outlines, and shrinking terror. But no sign of yield- 
ing came. A strange sad look around the delicate colourles 
lips came with the unnatural pallor ; deepened as it 
deepened, spread as it spread to the eyes and the brow. 
White, white, very white, with a hunted look in the sa 
sad eyes, but firm, strangely firm. 

* WiU you tell ? ' 

He spoke louder now, and once more his stem, strong 
hand was raised. The peculiar look round her mouth 

deepened, H5i cths bnined fbw^s. wfiL & ^a-rc ruesain-rz. 
crael IcKk. ai§ loer Ess psrsed^ 

' Siire. T& cac i£I sie. bcr m aersr ieiI ca Jacrr." 
He pic fcer (Jlttts. act ?ciis^j scr ganlj- cic :p5eclj. 
wrdi aorrfrftfcg' Hjy a saa^ is ^^g^t be- ggi5*f tz> ri nfgj::g 
be dsaKipaEEtznEizx. wf& a Lock ?£ac wa^a SEScg^ g"i:..T^ 
of JOT &Bd pctj. Loosed ^fio^ Bis Iicid dke «Bie^«Rii &ebnr. 
For & seccod lie scocd kckic^ dovii. sc cb» bScoir bnziaev 
az:d die Tnagppd >grr. scd sise sorclesB fisure : bos if ke wacs 
wvising' &r & aob cr & sign c^ scffiEsfs^. BMHse came;, and ]«e 
tunied ssxddecLlj' i^on die Oner. Tbiae vas a ktiik in li^ 
eres die owner of dae SEetvibs did mot Eke. azal iie edged 

' Tes^ diss wa J. qsiekr Balfb sud. stdfiiScvviBg Isrci 
out into die jdSow sLisd, cnt into ^e plaff^fr^ tkil dukfi 
beat nnbeeded OIL Ilb iiead, ke grasped die Octer as be iad 
jnst grasped Kaie. Tbe mazL paled. 

' Wbat is It BOW P be said in a tone iceazLt to be free- 
tioos, but dnt, £hitBd widi the water and tiae grip» onlj- 
sovsded weak azid siokkr. ' Arrab ! bat it*s xerself is die 
qnare bor tbat nobodj- koofws wbtoe to baxe at aD, at aD !* 

'01117 dds,' and die greater TtQain scowled and bait 
bis bead dose to tbat of tbe leaser one^ ^OnlrtbiB — dcm't 
come atween tbat girl and me agen. Tbat*3 tbe first blow 
sbe got from me^ and it's dirocigb joa, ye spalpeen ; jon 
made me gire it to make an informer of bcr. Don't do it 
again, miiid tbat, or bj tbe powiss ic's not a fisb veil be^ 
Ixit fijod for the fishes.' 

*■ Tbrougb me ? I dosie nodnn' to ber.* 

* Ob, no/ 

* Nor I dxdn^t tell jon to sdinke ber.' 

* Xo, joa dog, '006 joa knew if je did I woaldn*t do it; 


ye only stood by and let me do it. It's your work as much 
as if you done it, and more. Don't think I want to shift 
the blame from my shoulder; it's on me to the full, but 
it's on you too, you cowardly spalpeen.' 

* It's not blamin' nae ye ought to be,' the Otter said with 
some show of indignation. ' Was I goin' to hould yer hand 
when you said you could make her do as you Hked ? ' 

'I said that, an* I couldn't,* said the tramp, with a 
strange mixture of pleasure and anger. His hold loosened, 
his face was doubtful, his voice irresolute. The Otter no 
longer existed for him ; he was looking into space, he was 
questioning Fate. 

* Why didn't she tell ? Why didn't she scream and cry 
when I struck her? She's timid, and she's game. Her 
heart stood in her eyes, but she made no sign. Why didn't 
she show herself the coward I always thought her ? Am I 
to end by liking her ? That'll be bad, bad.' 

Bad ? It was all bad. Robber as he was he sickened 
at the sight of that hideous wound, at the sight of the girl 
trying helplessly to wipe away the blood. He took a jug 
of clear rain-water, and seeing nothing better he tore the 
girl's apron into strips and cleansed the forehead. After 
the first quiver he found himself marvelling at the perfect 
calm quiet with which she sat, neither sobbing, nor speaking, 
nor moving. The bruise was bad, but the blood was from 
an abrasion of the skin by an iron ring he wore. 

* Does it hurt much ?' he asked half curiously, perhaps 
altogether remorsefully. She shook her head feebly, and 
tried to speak, but failed. Then her courage gave way, 
the tears rolled down, and he drew back. 

* Is she game, or is she the coward I always took her to 


be ? Maybe I*m niakin' a fool of myself other than the 
way I think.' 

In the stem, pitiless voice she knew so well he spoke to 
the enfeebled girl. 

'Will yon tell?' 

The deathly pallor grew more livid, bnt clearer, sterner, 
more decided, came that look of firmness, as faint and 
faltering came the words, * I'll never tell on Jenny.' 

* Yon're a good girl, a brave girl,' he said suddenly ; 
then he turned away impatiently. 

All through the day the rain plashed in the pools and 
hudded the earth, and Kate sat motionless on the settle in 
a dreamy kind of stupor, and the tramp sat by the fire, 
turning now and again at some heavier plash and thud to 
look with a start at the forehead so lately bloody, to ask 
himself if it was his hand that had dealt that woful bruise 
that seemed to swell and glare into hideous livid colours 
as the hours went by. 

All through the night the rain went plash and thud, 
and the man went restlessly to and fro from the fire to the 
settle, where he had placed a pillow (not dainty, indeed, but 
soft), to the fire, and from the fire back to the settle. He 
knew when Kate was awake, for it was only then she was 
still ; in her sleep she moaned unceasingly, and tossed rest- 
lessly on the hard couch that was nevertheless better than 
her damp bed in the loft. 

* It was a bad blow,' he repeated to himself, over and 
over. ' It's bad, all bad ; she's slipping through my fingers ; 
and the worst of it is I'm beginnin' to be af eard I'll be sorry 
for her. But why ? ' 

Then he paced the earthen floor impatiently, yet softly. 
* Why ? why ? why ? — it's all why ? and no one to answer. 


Why didn't she grow up a flaunting jade, that would dare 
me, and let me hate her, as I should ? Failin' that, why 
isn't she the sneakin' coward that I could despise ? But 
what's the good of talkin ? I'm beginnin' to think it's no 
why ? at all. I dunno why I'll be sorry ; I only know I 

Yes, pacing up and down that earthen floor, pausing, 
now by the settle, now by the fire, now looking at the pale 
face where that mark stood out in its array of livid 
purple, now into the flickering, hissing fire, the sorrow 
deepened and strengthened, and he couldn't tell why. 



* Now, Beatrice, I really do trust, if only for the sake of 
the family, that you will remember that it is Mr, Blenner- 
hasset who is expected.' 

* I should like to know how it would be possible for 
me to forget it, even for one blessed minute,' retorted 
Beatrice, not at all penitently. * What is the need of 
teUing one to remember what is dinned into one's ears 
every hour in the day, by every member of the es- 
tablishment. It's my firm belief that Dido will learn 
to say Mr. Blennerhasset in a short time; and as for Polly — 
she declares us " blessed asses " without ceasing. She's 
practising, I suppose.' 


'That's another of your tricks,' said Mrs. Chirrup 

*Now, godmother, when I wanted to please you by 
teaching Polly to welcome Mr. Blennerhasset, was it my 
fault if she would b&j " blessed asses " ? ' 

It was a very charming face, that which was upturned 
just now in very provoking seriousness. A fair, oval, rose- 
tinted face, with very irregular yet exceedingly small and 
delicate features, and limpid grey eyes ; a face shaded by 
tresses of waving gold, not heavy and massy, but sparkling 
and spiral, and rambling and unmanageable, like the girl 
who owned them ; tresses that would not be done in any 
of the fashionable styles, that would not be drawn primly 
over the round white forehead, or be forced to define too 
clearly the profile whose chief characteristic was a dainty 
nez retrousse ; but that asserted their independence by 
straggling in finest flaky silkiness just where no properly- 
regulated hair should be found straying, now dropping an 
end on one sloping shoulder, now tumbling over the finely- 
arched eyebrows, now pushed back and imprisoned by a 
comb with which it indulged in a perpetual warfare, in 
which, to say the truth, the hair had the best of it. The 
comb just now was victorious, only one wilful lock having 
escaped from the large knot in which the flossy, rippling 
golden mass was gathered ; and the small head, poised so 
gracefully on the slenderest of ivory pillars, required no 
more elaborate adornment. The lady to whom she justified 
herself so unsatisfactorily was anything but a shrewish 
duenna, although, just for the moment, the young lady's 
shocking propensities had transformed her into a charming 
edition of a scold. She was the tiniest of tiny ladies, witB 
a soft, brilliant complexion that might have belonged to a 


beauty of twenty-five, and the loveliest silver-grey hair in 
the world, wavy and luxuriant still, under the smallest of 
lace caps. Such a dainty little figure, too, as was dis- 
played in that rich but not at aU cumbersome robe of soft, 
thick silver-grey, that matched her hair so well ; such soft, 
white, almost unseamed hands, as were shaded by the 
undersleeves of rich lace. Brilliant, restless eyes, deep- 
set under the still dark brows and black lashes, gave a 
character of piquancy to the face, that defied you to tell 
whether it was that of a young woman whose locks had 
prematurely turned grey, or of an Irish Ninon de L'Enclos, 
who scorned to mar the beauty of her crown of age by 
dye or deceit. Even the dress did not enlighten you ; it 
was decorous enough for a lady of sixty, it was rich and 
fanciful enough for a woman of twenty, who might be 
supposed, from the fact of her hair being turned, to have 
suffered some amount of ill-health or misfortune. Mrs. 
Chirrup was a puzzle to many, but to no one more than her- 
self. She looked down very gravely at the girl sitting at 
her feet, and then she said, in clear bell-like tones that left 
you more puzzled than ever, 

* Beatrice, I'm really disappointed in you. I begged 
you to be serious, and you won't.' 

The blithe white fingers went all the more rapidly over 
the tatting to conceal the efibrt Mrs. Chirrup made to bo 

* Serious ! Could I be more so ? Tou are really very 

'I don't know about that; I know I am very dis- 

* At what, dear ? ' 

'You don't seem to me to realise who Mr. Blennerhasset 

VOL. I. F 


really is, or the magnitude of the importance of the 
opinion ho may form of the heiress of Ingram ; an opinion 
that may be rendered hopelessly unfavonrable, not by 
absolute wickedness on your part, but by your giddiness 
and frivolity.' 

* Good gracious, godmother ! now you think me more 
stupid than I really am. I have, I beg to assure you, a 
thorough conception of who and what Mr. Blennerhassct 
is. He's the member for Slopperton, the head of the 
Blennerhassets of Kerry, the most eminent lawyer in 
Dublin, the owner of Blennerhasset Moor, of a mansion 
in Merrion Square, of another in Grosvenor Square, and a 
rental of three thousand a year.' 

* Really, Flossy ! ' and Mrs. Chirrup put down her tatting, 
and tried to look very angry at this uncalled-for volubility. 

* Now, don't look angry, there's a darling. I was only 
proving to you that appearances were " agen me," and that 
I really knew by heart the lesson that has been drilled into 
my poor brain by every person I see from morning till 

. night. I can tell you more about Mr. Blennerhasset, if 
you like.' 

*If you would only promise that you would try and 
alter a little while he is here, I should feel a little easier in 
my mind. Now promise, there's a good girl.' 

* Alter ? Do I really want altering ? ' demanded Flossy, 
opening her eyes with an innocent surprise that Mrs. 
Chirrup found very irritating, since it rendered it well-nigh 

•impossible for her to maintain her dignity in the lecture she 
had long determined to admim'ster to the provoking offender. 

* I should rather think you do,' she rejoined pettishly ; 
* and you know it as well as I do.' 

* How could I know it, godmother ? Nobody ever told 
me so before.' 


' I don't believe anybody ever tells you anything sen- 

* Well now, darling, do yon begin. I love variety, you 

Mrs. Chirrup again put down her tatting. 
' You're a shocking little flirt.' 

* A flirt, godmother ! What's that ? 
The little lady rose impatiently. 

' I shall talk no more to you, you provoking girl.' 

' Now, godmother, don't try to look angry ; it's not a bit 

of use. And please come and tell me what flirting is. 

How am I to avoid it, unless you give me some idea 

of it?' 

* Now, Mossy, what is Mr. Blennerhasset to think of 
you ? ' and Mrs. Chirrup sought, by an influx of ill-humour, 
to free herself from the twining arms. * Why don't you 
try just for once to be serious and sensible ? ' 

* As to being serious, I assure you over and over that I 
am, dismally, dreadftilly so. How could I be otherwise, 
when I am freighted, loaded down to the ground, with that 
man, his cleverness, his position ? Serious ! I should rather 
think so ; if this Blennerhassetiug process goes on much 
longer, you will have the satisfaction of seeing me 
subside into a chronic tract distributor. But as to being 
sensible — good gracious ! — ^you've no idea how hard I try. 
I do, really, and it isn't a bit of use ; the more I try the 
harder it gets. It doesn't come by nature.' 

* Have you no conception of the dignity of your posi- 
tion ? Do you never reflect that, whatever it might be for 
other young ladies, it is highly unbecoming for the heiress 
of Ingram to ' 

*Tq be natural?' 

V 2 


* To flirt. Are yon going to tell me that comes natural ? ' 

* I'm afraid it does, since you say I do it,' was the peni- 
tent rejoinder. 

* Tlien you must try and change it, my love. It might 
do for others, but it cannot for yoa. Tou understand, my 
child ? ' 

* But I don't want to be a bit different,' said the wilful 
girl. * I just want to do as I like, the same as other girls ; 
and if my position won't help me to do that, it's not worth 
a pin, only all the bother it is.' 

With a gay, ringing laugh she ran away, out on the 
lawn, leaving Mrs. Chirrup to try and get up the amount 
of wrath the sacrilege demanded. 

* Provoking little monkey,' she said, as she settled her- 
self in her low chair and resumed her tatting, all the while 
watching the figure among the flowers. 

And what was she like, this girl whom Mrs. Chirrup 
scolded and watched and tried hard to be angry with ? 

She came upon you with a flattering, bewildering radi- 
ance, that defied you to tell, whether her nose was Grecian 
or snub, whether her eyes were blue or black, whether her 
mobile mouth was fully shaped or thin. All you knew 
was that yoa looked upon a piquant, bewitching, fascinat- 
ing face ; that the eyes you could not tell the colour of 
were brimful of a sparkling mischief, that nestled in the 
dimple on her pointed chin and lurked in the comers of her 
restless mouth. A dancing sunbeam, a flitting, ever- chang- 
ing, but always radiant thing. That was about the most 
definite idea any of her acquaintances were able to form 
about her ; and the longer they knew her the farther they 
were from getting at anything more tangible; the more 
completely was she enabled, consciously or unconsciously, 


to blind them by her versatile wit, her nnmberless fascina- 
tioDS and wiles, her endless chameleon transformations, and 
defy them to discover whether they had any right to think 
her pretty, according to orthodox rules, or whether they 
sinned against the laws of good taste in surrendering to 
this bewildering creature. Of course, a good many con- 
scientious people tried hard to gain a correct idea of her 
features, but they might as well have left it alone. 

If it was hard to read correctly the mere countenance, 
what must it have been to gain any idea, that should not be 
flatly contradicted by another as positive, of the spirit that 
gave that face its spell P Altogether, she was a great trial 
to the ladies — and the elderly fathers of families who had 
not seen her — about Rose hill. Her reckless spirit shocked 
them as much as her unaccountable unfeatured prettiness 
disgusted their Venus creed of faultless noses and immove- 
able lips and precisely-measured chins. They considered it 
nothing short of a swindle for a woman who could lay claim 
to no one of these recognised charms to set up for a beauty. 
The worst of the matter was, they were obliged to carry on 
the war with negatives, poor missiles after all ; and spite 
of many desperate efforts in the cause of truth, they all 
agreed, these conscientious ladies and impartial gentlemen, 
who were determined not to become biassed by knowing her, 
that her nose was not Grecian, but then they could not sup- 
port that statement by a decided declaration that it was some- 
thing else ; aU knew, felt morally or immorally certain, that 
she was a young person of very low principles — anything 
but orthodox — ^but then came the hitch again ; they could 
not give any defined form to the special species of heterodoxy 
to be laid to her charge. Some said she had a snub nose and 
democratically Low Church tendencies; others contended 


she was inclined to aquiline — * quite a hook, you know, my 
dear ; you shall see her nose and chin in a year or two ' — 
and Ritualistic perversities ; others, again, that her pro- 
clivities were altogether and fearfully Roman. But all 
agreed in one thing — and such universal harmony was 
surely beautiful to see — that Beatrice, or, as Charlie Deve- 
reux had christened her, Flossy, Ingram was a flirt. 

Yes, that was something tangible ; and, with all the 
delight of truth-seekers long baffled by the illusory, they 
pounced upon the fiact, grasped it firmly, and held it hard 
and fast. 

' But why should she be a flirt ? ' 

* She's heiress of Ingram, a lady in her own right. 
What can make her flirt ? What, indeed, but thorough 
inward depravity ? ' And the doctor's wife, who had never 
been seen speaking to a man of her own station until the 
advent of the weak-eyed doctor, crossed her hands severely 
on her stiff" poplin dress. 

'Depend upon it, that girl knows what she 's about,' 
Miss Grinigan said sagely. 'She knows all isn't gold 
that glitters ; that Lord Ingram is not too old to marry 
yet ; and that, stripped of her wealth and title, she would 
have a poor chance of a husband, with that little face of 
hers that hasn't a good feature in it ; and so she is trying 
her best to catch a husband while she has the chance. 
Poor thing ! we must not be too hard upon her for making 
hay while the sun shines.' 

' Not blame her ! ' Mrs. Prim ejaculated, putting down 
her muffin. ' Now, I put it to you. Miss Grinigan ; could 
a girl with good principle do it ? ' 

* No girl with any principle could do it,' Miss Grinigan 
replied with calm decision. 


So gossiped the wiseacres of Roseliill, and they were 
as near the truth as gossips generally are. The girl flirted, 
not because she elected to do so, not from a morbid craving 
after excitement, nor a paltry desire to be first with all, 
still less to catch a husband, but simply because she could 
not help it. She was born a flirt. She took to it as natu- 
rally as young ducks take to water ; and although she was 
capable of finding amusement in other things — ^keen enjoy- 
ment, even perfect contentment — no sport had the keen zest 
of a good flirtation. 

Fluttering about among the flowers, her hair tangled, 
floating on her shoulders in defiance of the impotent comb, 
she sported caressingly with the flowers, and pressed her 
lips to the rose with as dainty a grace, as bewitching a 
coquetry, as though Charlie Devereux or Harry Lyster 
stood envious by, and the action gave her equal pleasure. 

* Sweet, sweet lily-bells, how I love you ! * she mur- 
mured in low, thrillingly musical tones, that would not 
have jarred on ears attuned to the most exigeant sickly 
sentimentalism. Then she started up with an idea that 
surely the lily-bells never suggested to her ; or, if they did, 
we can only say those spotless, pearly, empurpled sovereigns* 
of purity are as great humbugs as the majority of human 
representations of the idea. The idea made her fling her 
hands over her head in uncontrolled mirth, while a merry, 
merry hiugh echoed through the shiTubbery. 

* Godmother, I've come to set your mind at rest,' she 
said, as, having danced up the terrace, she hovered half in, 
half out of the French window. 

' I doubt that very much,' was Mrs. Chirrup's severe 


' Well, I'm going to try. Give me credit for good, 



intentions, at any rate. I'm going to make jon a 

' You'll only break it,' said the bright-eyed little lady, 
more complacently. 

* I'll keep this one. It's not the one you requested, but 
it comes to the same thing, and it's more satisfactory 
because it's more plain. I won't flirt — with Mr. Blenner- 
hasset — ^if I can help it.' 

Then she was gone ; only the dancing sunbeams lefb to 
mark where she had stood, only the blithe, carolling laugh- 
ter thrilling out in the lawn echoing the audacious words. 

Flirt with Mr. Blennerhasset ! The man to whom women 
were first-class nurses, and second-rate housekeepers, and 
intolerable cooks ; the man who grasped in his mighty mind 
all that was worthy the honour of being grasped ; before 
whose rare utterances potentates quaked ! Mrs. Chirrup felt 
she ought to be very angry, and was — with herself, for 
not being so. 



* How I shall hate that man, to be sure ! ' 

Miss Ingram spoke as she felt. She had been dosed 
with the cleverest lawyer in Ireland unceasingly for the 
last three weeks ; ever since, in fact, he had signified his 
royal pleasure to unbend his usual stiff reserve so far as to 
shoot for a week with the only man who didn't bother him. 


It was not that Lord Ingram had had many opportunities 
of bothering Mr. Blennerhasset, but the unfailing per- 
ception of the latter had divined rapidly enough that the 
nobleman was not one to bother under any circumstances. 
It was bad enough for Mrs. Chirrup to give the lie to her 
usually blithe satisfaction with her darling plague ; to in- 
veigh against flirting, because it might lower her in the 
opinion of the man whose opinion according to the critics 
was the one worth having. It was bad enough to have Jen- 
nings the housekeeper and all her satellites respond to the 
simplest question as to innumerable changes with, ' Sure, 
it's becos of Misther Blennerhasset' s comin', Miss Flossy, 
an' isn't that a reason to be proud of ? ' But the crowning 
point was put upon her miseries when Lord Ingram— he, 
who never deigned to interest himself about mortal man, 
or woman either, who had uttered no comment when the 
First Gentleman in Europe had gracefully offered him a 
blue ribbon, who had made no remark when declining the 
proffered dignity, as he would have an o£&cious neighbour's 
invitation to dinner — had thought it fit to remind his 
heiress of the coming guest. 

* To think that my uncle should recognise my existence 
merely to intimate his desire that I should please this 
man! ' 

With this humiliating idea came a new one of the 
source of it. What a power this man must possess to be 
able to influence, not only the genial fairy godmother, who 
in her merry, cheery way set gossip at defiance, and pooh- 
poohed Mrs. Grundy and her opinions as blithely as Floss 
herself, but the calm, almost ascetic man who seemed 
hopelessly concentrated in himself, his name, his honours, 
and his heritage — all, in fact, that constituted Ingram. 

74 Ingram place. 

*Tes, he must possess great power; not of name or 
station or family — they would never care for that. It 
must be power of himself, cleverness, I suppose. But how 
I shall hate him — ^I do already,' and Flossy tapped her 
pretty fingers against the marble edge of the fountain with 
considerable energy. * Give up my plans and amusements, 
merely because they might interfere with the equanimity 
or ofiend the fastidious taste of this horrid person ! Very 
likely. If I did, he would consider it the ordinary course 
of things; but he shan't have the chance.' The fingers 
went with renewed vigour as she concluded. * I'll bother his 
brains out.' She was mentally beating a tattoo. 

Standing there in the brilliant morning sunshine she 
looked exceedingly pretty, and she knew it. She did not 
exactly think that her profile was according to Canova — 
which it wasn't — orthat she was at all imposingly statuesque ; 
but she did feel intuitively that she was very nice, with 
the roseate tinge on her cheeks, and the golden glory 
streaming over her white morning dress, and mingling in 
hopeless profusion with the blue ribbons of her little straw 
hat. So when a gentleman rode by the iron rail that separated 
the lawn from the park, it was only natural that she should 
smile a dainty little smile, and give a gracious little nod. 
That would have been the extent of her bad behaviour, had 
not Mrs. Chirrup's dressing-room overlooked that identical 
spot where the path broke up between lawn and park, and 
had not Flossy detected her godmother — well, enjoying the 
view. That was too great a temptation to be resisted ; so 
she fluttered over the lawn, and Harry Dillon reined in 
his horse when he had come as near as he could. 

*0h, I'm so glad to see you, Mr. Dillon,' she said, 
perching herself on a high bank trailed all over with 


morning glory, and crowned with a glorious Norfolk 

* Are you really, Miss Ingram ? * 

* Yes, really ; I'll tell you why.' 

* No, don't please ; I'd rather have the fact without the 

' Oh, then you don't want to do me a favour ? ' 

* You know I shall only be too glad. I didn't under- 

*You might guess that I wanted something when I 
was glad to see you.' 
' Ah ! — instruct me.' 

* Of course I will,' and it really was not the girl's fault 
if her merry eyes undid the frankness of her speech. * We 
have no myosotis at Ingram, and I suppose that is why I 
set my heart on having some to complete nay drawing.' 

' You shall have it very soon.' 

' Thank you, Mr. Dillon, and good-bye for the present.' 

' Oh that girl ! ' groaned Mrs. Chirrup ; * and to think 
Mr. Blennerhasset is expected to-day ! I hope to good- 
ness Charlie will come. It won't look so bad her flirting 
with him, and he'U keep her from anyone else.' 

The breakfeist parlour at RosehiU was a very charming 
apartment. It opened on to one of the broad terraces that 
ran round three sides of the house, and, from the superbly 
tasteful carpet to the tiniest ornament of fragile china, was, 
^ar excellence^ Mrs. Chirrup's room. Not only that, but it 
was the abode of Mrs. Chirrup's friend ; the counsellor to 
whom she went in every perpleidty. Mrs. Chirrup's friend 
stood in the comer. A very grave face had this friend, and 
two solemn hands that warned of a time flying by ; a grave, 
musical, monotonous, sonorous voice had this friend, who 


had warned and sagely advised Mrs. Chimip for so many- 
years tliat she had forgotten to count them, that broke 
forth hourly into a sweet low yet clanging chime. 

Something had gone wrong. Flossy saw that directly 
she came in ; and instead of sitting down, as any decorous 
young lady would have done, she went straight up to her 

* What, is it, dear ? Y'ou'renot really angry with me ? ' 
One Httle white hand was on Mrs. Chirrup's shoulder, 

the other round her waist, and the lady made believe to 
satisfy her conscience. 

*0f course, everything together.' 

* What's the other everything ? ' 

' That Lizzie, now, just fancy— and to-day too.' 

* Has she run away with John ? ' 

' Really, Flossy, I shouldn't wonder if you put it in her 

* I didn't, godmother, upon my word I didn't ; but tell 
me all about it. No, there's John.' 

* Of course, and where should he be ? ' 

* Why, you said he had run away with Lizzie.' 

* I didn't say any such thing,' Mrs. Chirrup said se- 

* What about Lizzie, then ? ' 
' She's gone.' 

* Oh, she is. Who with ? ' 

* I didn't say she went with anyone, and really. Flossy,- 
I'm shocked at you. It's bad enough as it is, I'm sure. 
She left a note to say she couldn't stay any longer, and 
please to excuse her giving notice.' 

*Well, that is rather a come down after thinking of an 
elopement ; and those prim young pcBSons always do look so 


snspicioiis. I never could look at her and John together 
without thinking of Gretna Green.' 

* She was not a suspicious-looking person,' Mrs. Chirrup 
said testily, at this insult to her judgment. *.She may 
have been deceitful, but she wasn't suspicious-looking, or I 
should have been prepared for this ungrateful desertion. 
But I'm sorry I mentioned it at all, Flossy, I thought you 
would have been more sympathising.' 

Once her godmother looked really grieved, Flossy gave 
herself up to condolences, and unlimited perusals of, and 
startling explanations and speculations concerning, the note 
left by the deserter, with the charming grace that was so 
peculiarly hers. 

It was a queer letter, and so Miss Ingram acknowledged. 
The writer, who had a soul above — or below — grammar, did 
not seem to have any very clear idea of why she was leav- 
ing, except that she had to do it, although those who knew 
her spoke of her as a shrewd piece enough. All mention 
of the matter dropped when Lord Ingram entered the room, 
and the morning meal proceeded with due solemnity. 

Lizzie's position in the household was not a very im- 
portant one, but in Mrs. Chirrup's present . fidgety state 
every trifle was magnified. It was, therefore, a pleasant sur- 
prise to be told that a young person was waiting to look 
after the situation, and after a moment's consultation with 
her friend in the comer, Mrs. Chirrup desired the stranger 
to be shown in. 

The lady of Rosehill presented a very pretty picture as 
she sat in her low chair near the French window, her tatting 
occupying the quick, restless fingers, her brilliant eyes 
wandering from the clock to her lap, from that to the face 
of the stranger, for she was a high-bred woman, this little 


lady with the silver-grey hair and dress to match, and 
never permitted herself to stare her dependants out of 
countenance without sufficient reason. 

* Have you been out before ? ' 

* Ah ! Always lived at home ? ' 

* Yes.' 

* With your parents, I suppose ? ' 

The girl paused awkwardly a moment before replying. 
She was a tall slight girl, with a remarkably fair face, and 
untidy brown hair falling helpless over the timid, startled 
eyes. Something in the frightened look awakened Mrs. 
Chirmp's sympathy. 

* They are dead, perhaps? ' she said softly, apologetically 
even, to the wearer of that ill-fitting, glaring gown, with the 
birds catching at bunches of flowers all over its surftice. 
The girl shook her head. 

' And your name is ' 

* Kate.' 

* Ah ! Yes. And what can you do ? ' 

The startled look almost fled ; a bright, eager expression 
took its place. 

' I can work, ma'am.' 

' But if you have never been out before I'm a&aid you 
haven't much idea of the duties of parlour-maid.' 

A look of disappointment, so keen, so intense, came 
over the momentary eagerness, that it made the tiny lady's 
heart ache. It was a very foolish, thing of course, but 
somehow she could not bring herself to dismiss the girl 

* Shall she stay?* she asked, turning to the clock. 


That sage counseUor instantly divined the inquiry, that 
was of course inaudible, and ticked, as loud as possible, 

' Let her stay, let her stay.' 

That settled the matter. 

' "Would you like to learn ? ' 

* If you please, ma'am.' 

Clearly the new parlour-maid's forte was not speech, 
and perhaps it was a feeling that such was the case that 
spurred Mrs. Chirrup's charitable intentions ; but with the 
short sentence came a flash of joy over the pale pinched 
face, that threw a startling brightness over its squalor and 
poverty of onaine. 

' You must come to-day.' 

* I can stay now, if you please.' 

This was the longest speech she had adventured yet. 

'But your things? And you will want to tell your 
people,' said Mrs. Chirrup ; suddenly remembering she had 
not elicited anything respecting the former life of this girl, 
whom she had engaged to come and live in her house. 

* I brought my clothes, and father knows I was 

She had a father, at any rate. That was all Mrs. 
Chirrup could discover, and she was obliged to be satisfied 
with it. 

* Just like Missis,' the portly housekeeper said in dis- 
gust. ' She goes about helping, and gives us another 
visitor to wait on. Why, any fool can see by the cut of the 
girl that she knows as much about parlour-maids as I do 
about angels. And take my word for it,' she added to the 
butler, raising a cautioning finger, ' whatever she may be, 
it's nothing good she is. Look at her eye, that's 


* Sure, I'd rather look at the two, when I can,' was 
Best's rejoinder. 

* It's all very well for you to draw your small beer,' 
the lady said, with stout dignity ; * but in my time a little 
east was a mark of beauty.' 

* Sure, ma'am, I'm bound to believe that ; I can't con- 
tradict it, at all events, seein' it's too far back for me to 
remember,' was the butler's parting shot. 




Miss Ingram was particular at her toilet that evening, 
though she would scarcely have owned to herself that she 
was more fastidious than usual as to the exact position of 
the rose in her hair, and the graceful sweep of her gauzy 

' Mademoiselle will wear a sash, surely ? ' 

*Tes, the white one.' 

^ Helas ! I shall be in despair if Mademoiselle insists. 
Only a morsel of colour to match that sweet rose ? ' 

'1^0,1 shall wear only white; but you may fasten 
another rose somewhere, if you have a very handsome 

' If Mademoiselle would only try the effect ? ' 

* You must let me have my own way. Cerise,' was the 
impatient rejoinder ; and Cerise was obliged to submit. 


* I wonder what he will think of me, this clever misan- 
thrope.' Her thoughts at last were taking shape as, after 
having dismissed Cerise, she surveyed herself critically. 
' Probably nothing. At any rate he shall not be able to say 
that his senses were offended by an overdressed miss, after 
having been gratified by the sight of such classically robed 
women as he may stoop to consort with. It is as well I 
should be particular, if only to balk the satirical propensi- 
ties of this bear.' 

A pleased smile stole over her face as she recognised 
the correctness of her judgment in the charm of the 
recherche simplicity of her snowy robe, of the single large 
rose which with its loose spray formed her coiflfure, holding 
back the spiral, shimmering, golden hair. She wore no 
jewels of any kind nor ornament, with the exception of 
another flower that fastened the folds of her dress on one 
shoulder. Excitement, partly curiosity, partly certain re- 
bellious designs, had deepened the shell-like tinge on her 
cheeks, and given an extra brilliancy to her eyes. ' How 
godmother can make up her mind to alter her ways and 
habits for the time being to suit this man, merely because 
he is one that will be suited, I cannot imagine,' she said, as 
she turned daintily away. * At least I shall maintain my 
independence, and read them a practical lesson on the snob- 
bishness of subserviency of the intellect.' 

Lord Ingram and Mrs. Chirrup were in the drawing- 
room, entertaining Rohan Blennerhasset with that perfect 
courtesy that annihilates time, and makes the stranger of 
an hour as much at home as the acquaintance of years. 
Not that Rohan Blennerhasset needed such support ; he 
would have been as little put out had their demeanour 
been as frigid as ice, as churlish as ill-breeding could mako 




it. But lie recognised the gentle bearing of the stately 
host and the fairy-like hostess, and appreciated it as he 
would have appreciated rare old Johannisberg. It was 
growing near the dinner hour, and the tiny lady, almost 
lost in the depths of a bergere, began to cast anxious 
glances at the timepiece, which had once warned Le Grand 
Monarqne that there was one who did not stay even for 
kings. Those fragile hands seemed to move with lightning 
speed, and no sign of Mossy. Would or could the perverse 
girl be late to-day, of all days ? 

These anxieties never once interrupted her graceful 
courtesies to the man who honoured Ingram Place with 
his presence, but they made her very miserable, and it was 
an immense relief when the door opened, and a tiny 
figure, dimly outlined in fleecy white, floated across the 

' Miss Ingram, Mr. Blennerhasset.' 

A profound curtsey and a low bow ; then the gentleman 
resumed his interrupted conversation, and Flossy esta- 
blished herself in a comer. 

It was a very convenient comer, for the Kght did not 
flood into it, and from it the young lady could take ac- 
curate observations, as far as a low square forehead, heavy 
strongly-marked eyebrows, almost shaggy, a firm im- 
perious mouth, a small slightly-pointed chin, and occa- 
sional flashes from stem, cold, questioning eyes, that had a 
trick of reading you through and through, could be said to 
aflbrd data on which to form some idea of the cleverest 
man in Ireland. 

' The idea of making such a fuss about him ! ' ejaculated 
Flossy contemptuously. *Why, he's not nearly as im- 
posing as Lord Woodenhead, who has only two ideas — 


tnmips and mangel wnrzel ; and I'm sure he's not any- 
thing like as good-looking as Charlie. I wonder can he 
waltz ? He doesn't look as if he could do anything useful, 
with those nasty beetling brows and disconcerting glances. 
I'll ask godmother.' 

In the meantime Mrs. Chirrup kept casting anxious 
looks ; but now it was at that shadowy comer. 

* She always dresses like that when she's made up her 
mind to flirt outrageously,' she sighed disconsolately. 
* Not a necklace, nor even a bracelet. Goodness grant she 
won't take it into her head to go flying about the house. 
One consolation, there's no one here for her to flirt with.' 

* Dinner is served, ma'am.' 

Mr. Blennerhasset ofibred his arm to Mrs. Chirrup, and 
Lord Ingrami took in his niece with grave quiet politeness. 
He never looked at her ; never addressed her, except when 
decorum required. Nor did he ever manifest the slightest 
anxiety as to her behaviour ; she was an Ingram — that was 

'Wasn't Charlie Devereux to have come to-night?' 
demanded Mossy of her godmother. 

In vain Mrs. Chirrup frowned and shook her head. 
Flossy repeated her question tiU Lord Ingram took it up. 

* I believe that is not of much consequence, since Mr. 
Devereux is not here.* 

* Perhaps he will come, yet,' she persisted. 

* If Mr. Devereux intended coming, he would scarcely 
nm the risk of being late/ was the haughty reply. 

* There he is,' as light wheels rolled up the gravelled 
walk; and Mrs. Chirrup felt that her troubles were beginning. 

* Excuse me being late, unble. Godmother, I know you 

o 2 


will. Flossy,' this in a lower tone, * I shall devote my whole 
evening to making peace with you. How do you do, Mr. 
Blennerhasset ? ' 

He was a bright, handsome young man, this Charlie 
Devereux, with a noble head, and a crown of clustering 
curls, and true, good eyes that looked merrily into yours, 
and a short upper lip shaded by a thick moustache. He 
uttered his half-laughing excuse to Lord Ingram, as gaily 
as though the peer's response had not been the coldest and 
'stiffest of bows, and his pleasant ringing voice threw an 
atmosphere of life into the apartment that was very 
pleasant to Miss Ingram, as he took his place beside her. 

* Now, Flossy, what's the news ? ' 

* Oh, before dinner is the proper time for gossip,' 

* That's why I knew it was no use coming.' 
'Excuse me, I am thoroughly orthodoic,' 

* Since when ? ' 

* Since twenty-seven minutes past seven.' 

* Really ? I'm sorry I didn't get here sooner ; the trans- 
formation scene must have been something alarming. 
But come, are we friends ? Look what I've brought you.' 

He passed her a tiny bouquet of rare exotics, and she 
smiled her pleasure, pressing them lightly to her lips to 
inhale their fragrance, as she answered some polite common- 
place addressed to her by Lord Ingram, and enjoyed Mrs. 
Chirrup's vexation. There was something intensely ludi- 
crous to Flossy in her godmother's persistence in taking 
everything au serievas, as well as in the fact that Lord 
Ingram would do the same if he only suspected it. 

It was some sh'ght consolation to Mrs. Chirrup that 
there was a sort of engagement between her niece and this 
handsome young man, whose flowers she pressed to her lips 


at a dinner-table. Neither Flossy nor Mr. Devereux Lad 
ever spoken on the subject, but it had been an under- 
standing between the families for years. If she could only 
manage to give a hint of it to Mr. Blennerhasset, whose 
ideas about women were stricter even than her own, he 
might not set down her darling godchild as one whf»SG 
levity placed her far below the pale of his interest. But 
she did not see how this was to be done ; and in the mean- 
time the airy nothings, the gay retorts, that passed like 
wildfire between the two young people, irritated her 
almost beyond endurance. Lord Ingram took no notice, 
and entered into the Russian question with Mr. Blenner- 
hasset, who disposed of the subject in the sharp, quick way 
peculiar to him, that yet seemed to leave nothing untouched ; 
the energy of which was not at all impaired by a few rapid 
glances across the table at what formed a very pretty 
picture, to say the truth : a tiny head, with a coronet of 
golden hair, bent slightly, just enough to deepen the 
shadows of the colourless eyes, and to throw a classic light 
on the dainty, defiant nez retrousse, just enough to make 
it seem that she was listening very intently to the words 
that fell from the gallant, dashing young Irishman, who 
had won his sobriquet of handsome Charlie, as much by his 
fearless smile and irresistible humour as by his faultless 
profile and clustering wealth of chestnut hair. Yes, it was 
a very pretty picture, Mr. Blennerhasset thought ; while 
with calm, dispassionate eloquence he exposed the policy 
of Nicholas, and the contemporaneous blunders of the 
English Ministry. 

' I've come down to stay a while, auntie ; am I welcome ? * 
demanded Charlie, having accompanied the ladies to the 


* Of course yon are,' Mrs. Chirmp said, smiling in spite 
of herself. ' Onlj yon mnst promise not to bother me.' 

* Oh, that will be delightful,' said Miss Ingram, clapping 
her hands. ' I shall not be bored after all.' 

Mrs. Chirmp looked reproachingly, bnt the rebnke was 
wasted, for the servant was announcing Mr. Dillon. 

*I could not get the myosotis sooner,' he remarked, 
after saluting Mrs. Chirrup. *But I hope I am not too 

* Oh, how beautiful !* said the girl delightedly. ' How 
very kind of you to take so much trouble.' 

She could no more have helped offering him the in- 
toxicating flattery of her pleased expression than she could 
have helped feeling grateful for a bouquet that had cost 
a ride of ten miles, and probably the loss of a dinner, for 
Harry Dillon had so timed his arrival, not caring to become 
Lord Ingram's uninvited guest. 

Mr. Blennerhasset, who at the moment entered with 
his host, was puzzled. Mrs. Chirrup was scandalised ; she 
could not tell Mr, Blennerhasset that her niece was engaged 
to two people, however she might manage about one. 

Mr. Dillon was a young Irish gentleman farmer, and, 
like Charlie Devereux, had been a Trinity student. Both 
had a fund of wit and humour almost inexhaustible, both 
were better pleased to lounge near the low chair whereon 
sat enthroned this piquant, merry, dazzling little creature, 
who thanked them for small services in the most musical 
of voices, with the most bewitching smiles, than to culti- 
vate the cleverest man at the Dublin bar ; and Miss Ingram 
was well content that it should be so, that the fun and the 
wit, and the gay sallies and the sparking repartee, should 
be her portion of the feast. She had what she enjoyed, 


and others could have what they enjoyed. Surely a more 
equitable division could not be made. Why should she, 
with so lively an appreciation of badinage and jest, and 
metaphor, and the mysticism of poetry, be forced to famish 
on cold, hard, prosaic realism, while the food she longed 
and pined for was cast as pearls before swine ? 

' Flossy, Flossy, what will Mr. Blennerhasset think of 
you ?' 

It was rather an unfortunate appeal that of Mrs. 
Chirrup's, as she paused on the landing to say good night. 

'You darling little godmother, I do hope he'll think 
something dreadful.' 

* There's every probability of it.' 

'He's such a high and mighty prince, it would be a 
pity not to shock him. • He appears to think everybody is 
thinking how they will look in his eyes, and what opinion 
he may form of them, and everybody who does not is a 
heretic~^as if it was of the slightest consequence ;' and she 
turned away with a resentful remembrance of the cold in- 
difference of the hard blue eyes that had glanced once, just 
once, at her, as the cleverest man in Ireland said good 

A low shriek as of intense fear startled her, as, candle 
in hand, she entered her room. It was a large apartment, 
with soft lace draperies on bed and table that looked ghostly 
in the light of that one candle, and that took a thousand 
fantastic forms under the flickering smiles of the fire. 
Scarcely distinguishable from the white draperies was a 
slight, shadowy figure, shrinking away out of sight in 
guilty fear. 

*What is the matter?' Flossy demanded, advancing 
near enough to distinguish that the intruder was a thin^ 


pale girl, witli features that, in spite of their pinched out- 
line, were rarely beautiful, and wistful eyes that had a 
mortal terror in them just now. 

* I — If you please — I lost my way.' 

* Who are you, then ?' 
' I'm— Kate.' 

* Are you the new parlour-maid ?' 

'Well, don't look so frightened, it's all right. Will 
you take out my flowers for me ? then I shall not want 

* Oh, yes, if you please.' 

Miss Ingram sat down before the toilet table, and Kate, 
with her quiet, soft touch, loosened the flowers, and per- 
mitted the hair to fall in soft flaky masses. Miss Ingram 
glanced down at the taper fingers. 

* You're not a bit like a parlour- maid,' she said ; then 
she glanced at the old-fashioned cotton gown with its queer 
pattern and awkward fit, then up at the classic head above, 
at the face crimsoned with a sudden flush. * I didn't mean 
to hurt you,' she added quickly. ' Now I shall be able to 
manage for myself. Good night. Perhaps,' as a sudden 
thought struck her, * this is the first time you have been 
away from home ?' 

* Yes.' 

* Ah ! and of course you feel strange. But you musn't 
fret, you'U get used to it,' and Flossy nodded kindly to the 
girl, whose wistful eyes compelled her pity. 

* I like to be here,' said the girl eagerly* 

* Do you ? Well, I shouldn't like it at all ; but then 
I'm afraid I'm a very bad person.' 

' You bad ? ' and the girl's surprise was unfeigned. 


* Ton see I can't do things — at least — not "witli a good 
grace, I want everything my way — and if I had to go 
away among strangers I conld'nt say " I like it," as you 
did; I should be miserable. But you musn't stay any 
longer ; you'll have to get up early, I know.' 

But still the girl did not offer to stir. * What is it ? 
are you afraid ? ' 

* K you please ^I don't know which way to go.* 

' I'll show you,' Miss Ingram said readily, throwing a 
shawl over her shoulders. 

The passages they passed through were empty, and 
Miss Ingram paused at the end of one. 

* Those are the — Mrs. Burton's rpoms. "Will you be 
able to find yours ? I don't know which it is.' 

' Yes, thank you.' 

The words were uttered shyly and timidly, but the look 
from the wistful eyes was grateful, oh, so grateful. 

* I wonder shall I ever be reduced to that ? ' mused 
Flossy, as she retraced her steps ; * to be so thankful for 
anyone coming a few yards with me as I would be now 
for the conferring of some great boon.* 

* Has your bell-rope broken that you are obliged to 
invade the servants' quarter ? ' 

Lord Ingram and Mr. Blennerhasset were passing 
along the corridor, when they encountered Miss Ingram 
with her crimson shawl drawn round her shoulders and 
her hair flying. 

* No, my lord,* she retorted defiantly. * I was showing 
Kate to her room.* 

* Showing who ? ' 

* Kate, the new parlour-maid.' 


* Indeed ! I should have imagined you would have rung 
for another servant.' 

* I could have done so, but I preferred doing it myself. 
Do you know, uncle, she looked so grateful for such a little 

Lord Ingram stared in utter perplexity. He was not 
accustomed to notice whether * persons ' were pleased or 
otherwise, though he always took it for granted that they 
were. Flossy, who had begun to tell him of it out of sheer 
perversity, grew earnest and spoke her thoughts. 

' Wouldn't it be strange, uncle, if you or I should ever 
come to be so thankfol for so slight a favour ? ' 

' I am not given to indulge in such speculations, Miss 

' Well, but uncle, it might be you know ; at least it 
seemed possible just now, when I looked at that poor girl's 
unhappy face. She looked so unhappy, uncle, as if she had 
never known what it was to be really and heartily gay.' 

' I hope, Miss Ingram, you are not getting any of the 
new-fangled sentimentalisms into your head. The young 
woman is, I suppose, a well-behaved specimen of her class, 
and it will be a pity if you spoil her, as you seem inclined 
to do, by accrediting her with desires and feelings and 
powers of enjoyment or suffering not pertaining to her 

* I shall do nothing of the kind,' said Flossy indignantly, 
in a more disrespectftil tone than she had ever before used 
to Lord Ingram. ' But I suppose it is no crime to consider 
her human. The Bible says we're all dust, and I don't 
read anywhere that one is of finer clay than another. K 
it is so, however, it is not always the rich people who 
have it.' 



With a defiant curtsey to the two gentlemen she 
swept past to her own room, tossing back the untidy hair, 
and wrapping tighter the bright shawl, that gave her com- 
plexion a dazzling brilliancy and made her seem the most 
charming of little rebels. 



Few that ever entered the library at Ingram Place forgot 
it, with its fascinating blending of the mediaeval and the 
modem, of the sternly grand and the frivolously beau- 
tiful. It was a queerly beautiful old room, with its mul- 
lioned windows stretching from roof to floor, its lofty 
elaborately carved cornices, contrasting in their massive 
grandeur with the fantastic airiness, the fairy-like elegance, 
of the buhl tables and tiny cabinets. Grim but exquisitely 
carved goblins clutched hangings of softest lace ; a model 
of the Sphinx, mysterious, terrible to human speculation, 
in its wonderful passionless beauty, its unfathomable calm, 
its realisation of a supernatural conception of an existence 
devoid of any phase of passion or feeling, a being in 
which is known neither anger nor love, neither scorn nor 
yet sorrow, only moveless repose, looked down on low luxu- 
rious couches, on a rose-bespattered carpet, on a thousand 
devices for ministering to pure and unadulterated sensual 
enjoyment. The innumerable shelves of books that 



lined the walls were but an accessory to the apartment ; 
they did not obtmde themselves as in common libraries, 
defying you to see anything else, nauseating all but the 
veriest bookworm by their ponderous riches. Stretching 
from end to end, almost from side to side, as these shelves 
did, covering in fact an immense space, and affording ac- 
commodation to a magnificent collection of volumes, it was 
yet possible to see something else. You could so place 
yourself at a tiny reading table, that only harmonious 
draperies soothed your suddenly uplifted eye, only a 
splendid sweep of lawn and park and wood bounded your 
actual vision. 

Pacing up and down the room was Bohan Blenner- 
hasset. Yes, pacing up and down ; though a table neither 
small nor narrow was completely littered with his papers, 
just arrived. Pacing up and down as though something 
had arisen of such a magnitude of importance, that the 
labour of his life, his career, that was to him father and 
mother and family and friends, had suddenly been thrust 
aside to make way. 

And yet, what had disturbed him ? Only a woman's 
mocking smile, only a girl's shimmering golden hair ; and 
yet the one would vanish, and the other fade and dull, 
when his namer would be written in indelible letters in the 
history of Ireland, when his career, an accomplished fact, 
should fill men's minds with wonder. 

* I must work,' he said, suddenly pausing in his walk. 
' I have no time to waste ; ' and putting aside all super- 
fluous thought, with a decisive yet deliberate action, he sat 
down to his work. 

He was a handsome man, with a somewhat stem face. 
Cold blue eyes, that had a trick of looking into your 


motives, and contemptuously flinging aside the veil of 
actions interposed to baffle scrutiny, betrayed the lawyer 
by nature. A power of rapid and correct condensation of 
circumstances and words, nay looks, into evidence, 
revealed the lawyer by education. A lawyer by profession, 
yet rather a studier of mankind than a profiter by their 
follies, he prided himself on his acute perception of 
character, his power of analysing and dissecting men's 
minds, whether they would or no. 

He was a broad-chested man, morally, mentally and 
physically, with a great deal of backbone, neither weak nor 
yielding : a strictly honourable, upright man, so erect that 
in his unchastened pride he was apt to reflect severely on 
his weaker brethren, whose spinal strength could not at 
times prevent them lapsing into a feeble stoop ; to be 
careless to remove the stumbling-block that was no im- 
pediment to his untired feet from before the faltering 
steps of a wearier traveller ; to regard sternly and unfor- 
givingly those who could descend to courses he, in his 
untried, untempted integrity, loathed and despised ; to pass 
by on the other side of those who fainted under the burden 
of life, that sat so lightly on his sturdy shoulders. 

He was soon immersed in his work ; his vigorous mind 
was busy unravelling the mysteries of a web so intricate, a 
*skein so tangled, that he sometimes wondered whether he 
would have to put aside his mighty reasoning and resort 
to the woman's device, whether he would be reduced to cut 
the sturdy knot by his keen instinct, whether he would be 
forced to jump at conclusions, instead of reasoning them 
out bit by bit. In the very midst of his battle with incon- 
sistent facts and missing links ; just as his powers had been 
exhilarated by a tiny taste of victory, braced by the staring 



danger of defeat, the baize-covered door swnng open, and 
a musical voice demanded, 

* Are yon there, Charlie ?' 

Such a bewitching little figure as it was in its white 
muslin dress and blue sash, and garden hat hanging from 
one arm ; but Mr. Blennerhasset only thought it very pro- 

* Mr. Devereux is not here. Can I do anything for you, 
Miss Ingram?' 

' I'm afraid not. Mr. Devereux promised to teach me 
ihe last new rules of croquet. You wouldn't be able to do 
that, I suppose ?' 

* I fear I should prove a bad substitute for Mr. Deve- 
reux,' he said, witb stiff politeness. 

* Oh, but then you know it's not everyone can play like 
Mr. Devereux,' she said demurely. 'Besides, I suppose 
croquet is beneath your notice ; excuse my troubling you.' 

* Flossy, Flossy.' 

* Here, Charlie,' and she flitted out on the terrace. * I 
was afraid you had gone to Rosehill, and forgotten.' 

* Miss Ingram, I did not expect that from you. I did 
not, really,' said Charlie, with a great deal of mock indig- 
nation. * Nevertheless, the croquet lesson must be put off.' 

* Oh, very well ; I shall get some one else to teach me.' 

* You won't do anything so ungrateful. I am delaying 
it merely to oblige you.' 

* Well, I don't feel a bit obhged.' 

*No? Well, I had something very nice to tell you; 
but ' 

* Go on, Charlie ; don't you see how curious I am ?* 

* Are you really curious ?' he demanded, looking at her 
with an intensely coniipal surprise. 


* Yes ; are you astonished ?' 

* I am at your acknowledgiDg it.' 

*Ah, you see I get into the trick of telling the truth 
while you are in town.' 

* "Well, now, just to punish you, I shall not tell you. No, 
I really shall not say a word about that charming little 
Arah that I had landed last week, not a syllable about the 
precise orders I gave to have her cared for in town until I 
could bring her here, nor about the charming freaks she 
exhibited on her way here from town, or of all the admira- 
tion her paces excited ' 

* Oh, you good old Charlie, come along to the stables.' 

* Miss Ingram, Flossy — ^Baroness that is to be — stop for 
pity's sake ; what will Lord Ingram say ?' 

* Why, that you led me into it,' was her saucy reply, as 
she shot past the terrace, down the steps, and away round 
to the stable-yard. 

* Oh, I must have a ride to-da9<^h,arlie,' she exclaimed, 
in breathless admiration of*the distinguished foreigner. 

* She's very fresfi. She came down in the van, you 
know. You had better wait a few days, tiU she is 
thoroughly broken in.' 

* Oh, she looks so gentle.' 

* She is, miss,' the groom assured her ; * quiet as a lamb, 

* I'm not a bit afraid, Charlie ; and there are people 
conaiing this evening, so that I may not be able to ride 

* I should like to have tried her myself first ' 

* Now, I'm going to dress.' 

Mr. Blennerhasset was standing on the terrace outside 
the drawing-room conversing with Mrs. Chirrup, when 



Flossy came flying down to kiss her godmother, dressed for 
her ride. 

' Good-bye, darling ; I've got a new horse.' 

'My dear?' 

* Yes, the Arab that Charlie promised, and she's snch a 

* When did she come ? Is she safe ?' 

* Oh, of course ;' then she turned to Mr, Blennerhasset, 
as innocently as though she had not spoiled his day's work 
and destroyed, for the third time, some very complicated 

* Why don't you ride, Mr. Blennerhasset ? The shooting 
begins to-morrow, and you won't have time.' 

* Thank you, I have so much work by this post ' 

She was slightly piqued by his refusal, and did not 

scruple to interrupt his excuse. 

' Look ! there she is, godmother. Is she not charming ?' 

* Very fiery. Flossy.' 

* No, auntie,' said Charlie ; ' quite the contrary.* 

He sprang off his horse to assist Flossy, but Mr, 
Blennerhasset was already by her side. One light touch 
on his hand and she was in her saddle, her golden hair 
flying over her shoulders, her cheeks flushed into a vivid 
pink by excitement, her eyes like stars. 

* Thank you,' she said, smiling as graciously as though 
it was only Charlie Devereux or Harry Dillon, instead of 
the man whose name was on everyone's lip. Then the 
smile dimpled into a something that would have been very 
mischievous and very audacious in anybody else, but that 
was merely deliciously pretty in Flossy Ingranu 

* I must not detain you any longer from your work, Mr. 
Blennerhasset. Good-bye, all.' 


Then the two cantered away. 

*Why, Flossy, have you been coming out blue at all 
lately ? ' asked Charlie. 

'Dear me, I hope not. Do I show any alarming 
symptoms ? ' 

* I must do you the justice to remark that I have not 
observed any* incipient sigDS of the disease ; but I never 
heard of Blennerhasset unbending to any lady under a 
three-volume authoress, at any rate. I heard that he once 
offered a chair to the terrible woman who wrote " An 
Analysis of Dust and its Relation to Spirit," but I 
shouldn't have credited that he had assisted you to your 
saddle unless I had seen it.' 

'Perhaps, Mr. Devereux, an intellect keener than 
yours has detected within me germs of greatness. No 
more rude familiarity, sir ; who knows into what I may 
develope ? ' 

* Into a woman with a mission, perhaps.'' 

* It's quite possible. I must admit that I haven't the 
safeguard against freaks of genius.' 

* What safeguard ? ' 

* Why, the love for mending stockings. T don't thmk I 
ever mended one in my life, so there's nothing to prevent 
me from astonishing the world with a thrilling romance of 
blood and powder and railway accidents.' 

*I've just had a revelation. Perhaps Mr. Blenner- 
hasset wants a few lessons in the art of flirting, and having 
heard of your proficiency ' 

' Mr. Blennerhasset flirt ? ' 

The idea was too much for Flossy's risible faculties, 
and conversation was lost in contagious peals of laughter ; 
and all the time a sad, wistful face was looking out of the 

VOL. !• H 



library window, watcliing the retreating figures until they 
were out of sight, and then watching the place where they 
had been. 

' Don't you think that horse is very unsafe ? ' Mrs. 
Chirrup asked anxiously. 

' No,' Mr. Blennerhasset said in a veiy dubious tone ; 
then after a few polite remarks he re-entered the library. 
The slender figure that arrested his rapid steps puzzled 
him. At the first glance he thought it be a visitor ; 
but in an instant he had taken in every detail of her 
peculiar dress, her shrinking, uncertain manner. tJncon- 
sciously his inquisitorial nature betrayed itself ; he saw the 
girl shrink more into herself, but he did not see why. 

' Do you want anything ? ' he asked coldly, but not 
unkindly, seeing she did not move. 

'If you please — ^that horse — ^will Miss Ingram fall 

' No ; I think not.' . 

* Thank you.' 

Still his questioning eyes pursued their relentless task, 
almost independently of their owner ; and she shrank out 
of the room with a timid, guilty air. 

' What was she doing here P ' he demanded, following 
the train of thought that suggested itself. ' Nothing wrong, 
perhaps, but it is very plain that she felt such an idea was 
not one that could never attach itself to her. Queer style 
of person to be in Lord Ingram's household.' 




Life at Ingram Place was very pleasant now. The 
house was not exactly thronged with visitors, to nse a 
fashionable term : there were a score of rooms nnoccnpied ; 
but those that were appropriated were used by some select 
friends of the peer, and one or two of Mrs. Chirrup's, who, 
taken all together, formed a very pleasant nucleus for the 
society of the place to gather round. Lord Ingram only 
knew the best people of each sort ; the highest and best bred, 
the most distinguished in literature, the best known in art. 
Parvenues, whether as to position, intellect or breeding, 
were excluded, and the consequence was that a peculiarly 
refined taste pervaded the intercourse at Ingram Place, 
a perfection of good breeding that never degenerated into 

It certainly would have been hard to have been dull 
with Flossy Ingram enjoying her first instalment of the 
peculiar delights at the command of the possessor of rank, 
affluence and taste. It was the first time for twelve years 
that the magnificent old Place had been thrown open to 
visitors, and hers was a nature to enjoy such pleasures 
to the full. Without high intellectual gifts, she had keen 
intellectual senses, exquisite susceptibilities for enjoyments 
of the very highest order. She was not a musician, her 
execution was not brilliant -enough, yet music entranced 
her ; she had no technical knowledge of art, nor even the 
fedntest desire to acquire it ; perhaps it was her good sense 
M much as her idleness that had revolted from a contiiiuance 

H 2 


of the dismal, wateiy water-colonr sketclies she had executed 
under the auspices of a painstaking drawing-master ; yet, 
a gorgeous mass of colouring piled by a master's hand, a 
few bold strokes outlined by a painter, a dainty, delicate bit 
of feeling or poetry portrayed on canvas, transported her 
into a world of magic. She had never thought of writing 
a line of poetry in her life, but she extracted every scrap of 
sweetness with an unfailing instinct out of each volume 
she seized, whether the quaintly garbled legends of the 
fathers of thoughts set to music, or the flowing rhythm of 
the poet« of the day. 

How keenly exquisite is her happiness now, as she 
stands entranced, listening to Herr Joaquin drawing such 
weird, sweet language out of that pealing organ ! Tears 
stood in her eyes as the strains died away, and the Herr 
left the instrument, and involuntarily she glanced at her 
neighbour for that sympathy which it is her high privilege 
to feel and appreciate, her keenest grief to be denied. 
Robert Dalzell did not deny her ; he gave her glance for 
glance ; he permitted her to see that he tasted the pleasure 
she could not enjoy to the full unless it were shared. 

He was a thin elderly man, elderly, though he was 
scarcely forty yet, with a slight stoop, and broad streaks 
of grey in the scant dark hair ; a man with whom the 
world had gone ill while he cared for it^ and well when it 
had become too late to make any difference. He had a pale, 
patient face, kindly and gentle, but with deep furrows 
across the broad noble forehead, that told of disappointment 
keen and bitter enough to have soured into hopeless 
cynicism a baser nature. 

'Thank you, Herr JToaquin,' Flossy whispered after 
a while, turning from her position at the marble balustrade 


to look with worshipping eyes into those of the mighty- 
magician who had evoked such spells. 

' Ah, ah 1 ' he responded, smiling at her looks rathm* 
than her words. ^ It is goot, it is goot ; you should haf 
a soul for music' 

' Should have ? I could not enjoy it more.' 

* Ver goot, so far ; but you haf not one soul for music 
alone. That is the one great thing.' 

* K you mean that I enjoy other things as well, you are 

* Ah, so, I thought so. Hein ! you are but one woman,* 
and he turned away with a sort of pitying contempt. 
* Music is one mistress who will haf all the devotion.' 

Flossy dismissed the vagaries of the master, to revert 
to and linger on the echoes that yet thrilled her being, 
and Eiobert Dalzell did not disturb her. She could not 
have stood thus silently with everyone, contentedly 
feasting on sounds yet rolling in her ears ; but she felt that 
he was sharing the feast — ^felt it, though he spoke no word 
to tell her so. 

*0n the terrace, as usual,' Constance Bouverie said, 
with a mischievous sparkle in her handsome languid eyes, 
as she paused at a window. * Somebody asked where you 
were just now, and I told them you were here, though I 
had not seen you.' 

' Does godmother want me ? ' 

* No ; not more than usual. I believe it was Mr. Blen* 
nerhasset made the enquiry.' 

Just then Eohan Blennerhasset came along the terrace, 
scanning the two earnest countenances turned outward, ycrt 
scarcely noting the wide expanse of park and woodland. 

' Can she be flirting with Dalzell too P ' was his mental 

los nrasAx place. 

qneiy. ' Surely she does not want to make a fool of him 

His firm step was the third break in the girl's reverie, 
and she resigned herself to real life. We can scarcely 
blame her, though, if she songht to make it as pleasant as 
she conld. She addressed a few polite nothings to Mr. 
Blennerhasset ; then she tamed to the patient, gentle-look- 
ing man, whose brow was so deeply seamed. 

' When will yonr picture be finished, Mr. Dalzell? You 
know you promised me the first look.' 

* I do not know when it will really be finished. Pro- 
bably not until it ceases to be in my possession ; but I wiQ 
show it to you when you please.' 

' Now, Mr. Dalzell,' she said, eagerly. 

' Now ? With the strains of a mightier work in your 
soul, you will find mine poor.' 

^ No, no ; and I am a very Sybarite for pleasure. You 
cannot satiate me. I don't want to take my enjoyments in 
moderation. If I mighty I would feast my eyes while my 
ears were yet thrOling to the wonderM sounds. Show it 
to me now, if you please. It wiQ not break in on my 
reverie ; it will only continue it.' 

* StUl, I would rather show it to you to-morrow.' 

* Very well, if you prefer it,' she said ; * but please let it 
^be early.' 

Even the sad, grave painter smiled back at the coaxing, 
childish fiuse, and Mr. Blennerhasset's lip curled in silent 
disdain. He despised himself thoroughly for feeling com- 
pelled to notice this frivolous butterfly, this gay careless 
girl, neither beautiful nor witty, whose only charm was 
her levity. What a charm was that to enthral him ! The 
hearty contempt he felt for his own idiocy extended in a 


modified degree to .Robert Dalzell, and fotmd vent as tlie 
two men strolled up and down the terrace while Miss 
Ingram fed the swans, Harry Dillon holding the basket, 
and looking nnntterable things at the long lashes and 
snowy eyelids, that conld no more help drooping roguishJy 
at the implied compliments than they could help being full 
and well shaped. 

* You are more easily pleased in confidants than you 
used to be, Dalzell. Has fame made you so good-natured 
that you are ready to flatter the overweening vanity of a 
butterfly merely for the sake of pleasing ? ' 

^ Miss Ingram is not a butterfly exactly; she has higher 
aspirations than you think.' 

* What ! does she bewitch you so far as that ? When I 
saw men drawn under her influence I thought they were 
attracted by her pretty fooleries, but I did not go so far as 
to imagine that they were slaves to ideal wisdom. Not a 
butterfly ? Why, if not that she would be nothing.' 

* I am not an analyser of character, you know, Blenner- 
hasset, but I think you wrong this kind young lady. It 
jDAj be simpUcity on my part, but I fancy her gaiety is 
rather the happy bubbling up of a great vitality than tho 
fermentation of a vitiated nature.' 

' Your perception is either keener or kinder than mine. 
I must confess I never looked upon a morbid craving for 
admiration as a sign of healthy vitaliiy.' 

If the painter had thought anything of Mr. Blenner- 
hasset's opinion, so foreign to his own trustful simple 
nature, he remembered nothing of it when, the next morn- 
ing. Flossy sat quietly before the picture. She uttered 
no ecstatic sounds, no critical admiration : she was simply 
happy, with a happiness that was not alloyed — ^rather 


rendered more exquisite — hy the Tmconscions sad i*eflex of 
the painter's spirit. 

* I want to show it to Herr Joaquin, Mr. Dalzell ; may 
I ? He has a soul to comprehend art.' 

* Certainly/ the painter said, smiling at her earnestness. 

* Thank you. He gav^e me so much pleasure yesterday, 
I want to give him this great one to-day.' 

' Hein ! What is it, then ? A new sonata, or another 
TourbiUon ? ' 

* No, Herr Joaquin. But do come ; I know you will be 

* Ach, and I am ready to be delighted, Fraulein Flossy ; 
but this road haf not got the music-room at the end.' 

* No ; I am taking you to see a picture.' 

* A picture ? You said my soul was to revel in art.' 

* So it shall, Herr Joaquin.' 

' Ach,' he grunted. Music was all art to him ; but he 
accompanied the pretty Fraulein, who thought she enjoyed 
his music when she did not know technically fugues from 

She placed a chair for him with a dainty grace, and 
stood behind while Dalzell uncovered his work, and Rohan 
Blennerhasset, who had come to examine it during Flossy's 
absence, watched the effect on the musician. Miss Ingram 
stood perfectly silent to permit Herr Joaquin to enjoy the 
pleasure she had experienced, but after a moment or two 
the Herr turned his stolid face to the painter and then to 

* Hein ! It is very fine, but it is not music' 

' No, it is not music,' Flossy said, looking in puzzled 
wonder at the phlegmatic old man ; * but it is art, ap- 
pealing to another sense it is true, but still art.' 


^ Ach, that is very goot,' lie gnmted, rising jfrom his 
chair ; ' but I have bnt one soul, and that is for music* 

^ One soul ! What has that got to do with it ? Have 
you got only one sense ? ' 

* I know not if I haf more. I want not more. It is 
so great this one that it is enough.' 

* No, no, it is not enough, Herr Joaquin ; we have five 
senses to gratify. By pleasing only one you debar your- 
self from four-fifths of the happiness that is your lawful 

Five senses to gratify* That was her creed. 

* Five senses to use, too. Miss Ingram,' Bohan Blen- 
nerhasset said with judicial severity. 

* Of course ; but if one did not use them where would be 
the pleasure ? ' 

*And the duty? Surely that ought to come first? 
Our existence as moral beings cannot be one of mere 

She had always a sense that he was blaming her, and 
she only pranced the more viciously. 

* I really don't see why,' she retorted defiantly. * Can- 
not the two conditions be united ? ' 

* Sometimes ; ' and the grave lawyer's eyes said only too 
plainly, * but not in your case.' 

She turned from the painter and his friend, a<nd stood 
looking after Herr Joaquin, till she forgot her momentary 
irritation in a speculative theory, and was glad to ask some 
one to help her out of it. 

* Mr, Dalzell, how is it ? That man, with his great gifts, 
his wonderful talent, which perhaps I am too ignorant and 
too superficial to comprehend, but of which I have yet a 
very magnificent conception, dim it may be, but not base 


or low, cannot appreciate the manifold enjoymentfl of life 
as much as I do. Can jou explain ? * 

* The only explanation I can give is that it is fireqnently 
so. You will see men with talents of a rare order, utterly 
devoid of appreciation of all that it is not in their power to 

^ Then, as I can evoke nothing, the law of nature would 
be that I should enjoy nothing.' 

* Scarcely that,' and the patient ftirrowed brow broa- 
dened with kindly sympathy. ' It is, perhaps, because you 
have neither the painter's, nor the poet's, nor the musi- 
cian's skill, that you have the taste of alL You devote your- 
self exclusively to none, but you welcome all in turn, and 
your sympathies widen, your life deepens, as your power of 
enjoyment increases, to a degree that is almost incom- 
prehensible to the wrapt devotee of any one art.' 

* Thank you, Mr. Dalzell, for making my creed of 
pleasure not only easy but blameless. I felt, under Herr 
Joaquin's reproving glance, as if I had been guilty of 
some crime;' and with a happy, saucy nod she left the tem- 
porary studio. 

* I wonder at you wasting reason on one too superficial 
to wince under its sarcasm,' Blennerhasset remarked. 

* I don't know that it is superficiality,' Eobert Dalzell 
said quietly. ' It seems to me rather a marvellous capacity 
for enjoyment, a power of deriving happiness from all 
sources ; an inestimable gift, that very few possess.' 

* I did not know you had fallen into the modem habit 
of calling ugly things by pretiy names, and then labouring 
under the delusion that you have rendered them " beautiful 
for ever." Pray, what do you call that ? I call it frivolity, 
pore and simple.' 


He pointed as he spoke to a tiny figure seated on the 
edge of the marble basin of a fountain, dabbling her little 
pink fingers in the water with a perfect consciousness of 
their beauty and tapering elegance, while a handsome mous- 
tached gentleman bent almost over her, heedless of the spray 
the little fingers sometimes caused to spread more widely. 
His attitude was one of intense devotion, hers of rapt 
attention. They could see plainly enough from that studio 
window the downcast lids, the sudden sparkling upward 
look of absorbed interest, as she threw her whole soul into 
the conversation, as though it were to her the most impor- 
tant thing in life. So it was just at that moment. She 
had only been introduced to Mr. Clinton an hour before, 
but he was taking great pains to amuse her ; and it would 
have been both hypocritical and ungrateful to have pre- 
tended not to be interested; and certainly Miss Ingram 
gave no one occasion to say she was one or the other just 
now. The painter smiled, and sighed at the sunlit picture ; 
with its artistic grouping of form and colouring that 
gratified his soul, with its higher charm of expression of 
life — ^nay, of the very essence of life, its mute revelation of 
the interchange of flashing ideas, sparkling raillery, grace- 
ful sentiments, that baffled the pencil, that could never be 
transferred to canvas ; and his sigh was deeper than his 

*Yes, unadulterated firivolity I call it,' Blennerhasset 
repeated. ' She has not known that man two hours.' 

*And I call it an exemplification of my theory,' said 
the painter. 




The new parlour-maid did not find mncli favour in the 
household at Ingram Place. She was too shy and retiring, 
or, as they expressed it, too mopish, to be anything good 
in their eyes ; and her shiinking, guilty look, when accused 
of any trifling fault, gave her no chance. But Mrs. 
Chirrup had taken a great fancy to the girl, and kept her 
constantly employed near herself. 

Mrs. Chirrup's friend had a good deal to do with this. 
In reply to mental enquiries, induced by the pity evoked 
by the unconsciously appealing eyes, the round-fiwed clock 
had ticked, cheerily and blithely, * Trust her, trust her ; ' 
and the dear, kind, pink-cheeked old lady did trust this 
sad, pinched-looking girl, with the silent tongue and the 
suspicious maoner. Yes, she trusted her very much, in 
spite of a hundred puzzling incidents, in spite of all that 
the girl had against her in herself. But, of course, she 
laid all the blame of this to the charge of the clock* Mrs. 
Chirrup never pretended to be credulous, or trusting, or 
generous, on her own account ; but if her time-honoured 
friend led her into imprudences she could not help it. So 
in spite of all the housekeeper's head shakes, and Made- 
moiselle Cerise's supercilious remarks, and the old butler's 
cautious admonitions against nameless strangers, with 
great black bruises on their foreheads covered with a lot 
of untidy hair, Mrs. Chirrup trusted on. 

That bruise was a great eye-sore to Mrs. Chirrup. Her 
big heart swelled with pity and indignation every time she 


looked at it, or at the great lock of Hair that generally 
concealed it. 

* Poor little thing ! * she would whisper to herself — the 
girl was a good head taller than her. *Poor child; it 
was pitifal to get such a cruel blow on such a poor pale 
face. How miserable her life must have been ! And yet 
they want mo to punish her for not being frank and 
happy-looking.' And Kate, looking up from her work, 
would find the bright hazel eyes yet brighter with tears, 
and the kind Httle grey-haired beauty would say, 

* There, now, you have worked enough ; go for a walk in 
the park, and get a little rosy, do you hear ? Let me see 
you when you come back, till I see if you have done what I 
told you.' 

* Yes, ma'am.* ' 

* And, Kate, you must get a little fat,' 

* Yes, ma'am.' 

* Ah, but saying "yes" won't do; you must try — ^it's 
your duty.* 

* I will try,* the girl would answer dubiously ; and that 
was one of her longest speeches. 

Kate had no love for long walks, and when sent out by 
Mrs. Chirrup she generally ensconced herself behind the 
thick bashes of the shrubbery, just in view of Lord Ingram's 
private room ; and there she would sit for hours, stealthily 
watching the tall, stately figure, sitting at a table studying 
something before him, with bowed head that neither servants 
nor visitors were permitted to see^ K anyone happened to 
come near she would steal away, and this was another 
count in the indictment drawn up against her in the 
servants* hall. No weather prevented her seeking this 
lonely spot ; the rain might beat, or the wind might blow, 


yet she would croncli behind tlie bnslies, as if ^scinated by 
the oatb'ne of that spare figure that moved sometimes 
so restlessly before the windows. Constant gratification 
did not pall upon her ; day after day the hungry eyes rested 
on the bent head so erect before visitors and servants, 
before every human gaze bat hers ; day after day the deep 
shadow of anrest deepened on the troubled, weary &ice, 

Mr. Blennerhasset's visit had not yet come to an end. 
Mrs. Chirrup had invited several of the surrounding gentry 
to meet the illustrious guest. Her heart was sore that her 
niece had made such an un&vourable impression, as she 
could see was the case ; but though she blamed Flossy for 
it, she could not revise the girl's petition for 

^ Just a quadrille and a waltz, you know, dear.' 
Mr. Blennerhasset was standing on the lawn below the 
terrace, happily unconscious of the momentous question 
that had just been decided, when a white-robed figure, with 
hair floating in the wind, came flyiug down the steps. 
' Constance, Constance ! we are to have a dance.' 
Constance Bouverie looked languidly ap from her book 
with a fointly interrogatory * Yes ? * 

^ Yes,' Miss Ingram said, pausing on her toes ; ' and I'm 
the happiest girl alive. Now do come and have a waltz on 
this beautiful sward, and put away that ugly old book. 
I feel exactly like a ballet dancer, just as if I could fly.' 

* No, thank you. Perhaps Mr. Blennerhasset will.' 
The heiress of Ingram stopped short in the midst of her 

first round, and descried Mr. Blennerhasset watching her 
with a compassionate, half-amused look. 

' Pray don't stop, Miss Ingram ; I'm only sorry I cannot 
play the Jew's harp for you.' 

* Thank you for your gracious permission, Monseigneur^' 


she said, dropping him a profound curtsey ; ' but I think I 
had better defer my waltz till I get a more appreciative 
aadience and — a partner.' 

*I regret I cannot oflfer myself just now, having my 
hunting boots on ; but perhaps you will favour me with 
the first this evening ? ' 

* Do you really waltz ? ' she asked mischievously. 

* Not often ; but do I look so very awkward ? * 

* Oh, I don't know about that ; I was thinking of how 
you could spare time — ^from your work, "you know ; ' and 
she glanced at the unused gun on the grass, that had lain 
there for two hours at least. 

* Oh ! I am not so busy just now. But, really, I should 
have expected to find you in the blues to*day, and you rush 
about as if you were quite happy. 

* I am happy. Why shouldn't I be.? ' 
' All your admirers away shooting.' 

* All ? How very uncomplimentary.' 

* Excuse me ' 

^ No, don't apologise ; I must excuse you, for I don't feel 
in a humour to quarrel. I'm happy ; outrageously, ridi- 
culously happy.* 

And she crossed her hands, and sat down in the plen- 
itude of her content on the soft grass, with the chequered 
sunlight fieJling through the gracious trees on her fair 
young face with the rose gleam on it. This superabundant, 
apparently causeless happiness was a mystery to a man 
who was not content to be happy unless he could give 
a good reason for being so. To Constance Bouverie, whose 
blood flowed sluggishly and calmly, it was simply an 

* Why so happy to-day, in particular ? * 


' I don't know, except it is that I am alive,' she said 
blithely. * I feel so glad and gay that the whole universe 
seems mine for a possession to rejoice in ; I seem to have 
an ownership in everything bright and beautiM that 
ministers to my pleasnre/ 

There was something intoxicating in the girl's mad 
glee that was too positive, too ftill of a magnificent vitality, 
not to be contagious. Eohan Blennerhasset yielded to its 
spell. Constance Bouverie closed her book for the third 
time and laid it on the grass, and resigned herself to be 
amused by the contest between grave, keen satire and a 
girl's lively, light, but sparkling banter. Perhaps only an 
Irish girl could have entered into the contest so keenly 
as Miss Ingram did ; perhaps only a Celt could have appre- 
ciated to the ftdl the privilege of being assailed by the 
polished shafts of a mighty intellect, the power of skir- 
mishing with her light artillery against the heavy, splen- 
didly appointed forces of an illustrious enemy ; the exquisite 
delight of throwing a magnificent advancing eolunm into 
confusion by a brilliant fusillade ; of retreating rapidly to a 
secure position, escaping annihilation by the skin of the 
teeth. Oh! such a contest is glorious to an Irish girl 
endowed with all the drollery, the dashing, reckless daring 
of her race, with moderate talents and ordinary education, 
such as may enable her to throw sufficient shape and dis- 
cipline into her light infantry. To Miss Ingram it was 
exhilarating to a degree an ordinary Saxon can have no 
conception of, and to Blennerhasset it was scarcely less 
80. Even calm, apathetic Constance Bouverie caught the 
infectious enthusiasm, and began to think there was some- 
thing in flirting besides attracting admiration or angling 
for a good establishment. 


Sometimes sitting erect, openly on the alert, sometimes 
half leaning on the yiolet bank with affected listlessness, 
with the rose gleam deepened into a glowing damask, the 
crimson Hps parted eagerly, the golden hair pushed reck- 
lessly back from the snowy forehead, the starry eyes 
gleaming and glancing, and flashing and dancing. Miss 
Ingram's irregular features proclaimed audaciously their 
title to beauty, a title too that was incontestable. The 
profile defied you to discover its weak points, its ^Ebulty 
outline; the full £9.00 dazzled, bewitched you with its 
glamour of a beauty independent of form and feature. 
So thought a man crouching behind the arbutus bushes, 
a man with evil brow and restless eyes, that watched the 
group in the sunny glade near the terrace. 

' They told me she wam't handsome, that she had a 
tnmed-up nose, and no figure to speak of, and a doll. The 
fools ; she's worth twenty dolls, and she's Jm niece. What 
will he care for a daughter he can't have much love for, 
by this, if he has an heiress like that to turn to for conso- 
lation ? Where will be my vengeance P What good will 
I have done these long weary years P' 

The sun set, and the dinner-bell rang, and the three 
still sat in the glade, chequered no longer, but peopled 
with tiie mighty shades of evening that softened with their 
magic touch everything they looked upon, gave beauty 
to the simplest outline, depths of shadow to the plainest 

* We'd better dress, Mossy/ 

' Yes ; and there come the hunters. Do come and ask 
what sport ; we shall have time by dressing quickly.' 

Still the merry banter went on while they crossed ihe 
lawn, till questions and answers about the game succeeded. 

VOL. I. I 


Hr. Cfinton was first, and lie immfdiatriy seized upon 
Miss LagTam, giving her a lniiiior0iis skeidb of the daj's 
doings, fining in jnst here and there to enhance the inter- 
est. It will he rememhered that Mr. Clinton had taken 
the tronhle to amnse the charming yoong heiress, who had 
appreciated him so thoroughly, hefiire Mr. Blenneihasset 
had deigned to do so; and she hestowed her nndirided 
attention on her present companion, as thongh hearing about 
the sport was her sole object, and hearing it from Mr. 
Clinton especiallj. Then she told him about the coming 
dance with girlish glee, and Creorge Clinton was neither 
old nor nglj enough not to be interested in the prospect. 
He was a handsome militarj man, with a welUbred air of 
insonciance to strangers, that made his flattering deference 
to intimates very &scinating. He was an accomplished 
fiirt withal, and was not the man to submit quietly to 
being eclipsed by a mere boy like Harry Dillon, or even by 
gallant, dashing, handsome Charlie. 

^Surely this ought to be a lesson to me,* Bohan 
Blennerhasset muttered with contemptuous bitterness to 
himself. ' After seeming interested in what I was saying, 
she can throw her whole soul into h^r eyes when talking 
to that fop, as though her life hung upon his words. It is 
not that the girl is a flirt ; it is that she is nothing else. 
Literature, learning, intellect, are nothing to her, only so 
far as they enable her to act the better.' 

Charlie Devereux was in his element helping the 
servants to put some hastily arranged wreaths round the 
wax lights in the music-room, which Flossy had appro- 
priated to dancing. He went to dinner late, in defiance of 
Lord Ingram and the ladies, and lefl the table with the 


* Oh, you good old Charlie,' Flossy whispered to him. 
*It wouldn't have been half a dance without the flowers.' 

Many of the people who had been invited to dinner 
were grave members and ponderous-looking peers and 
pompous dowagors. But Mrs. Chirrup had invited a few 
young people for the dancing especially, so that the im- 
promptu ball-room was soon almost full. Close to the marble 
terrace, all ablaze with light, ringing with the mirth and 
laughter that floated from the open windows and doors, 
with the rapid tingling music, with the light steps of the 
dancers, a man stood under the shadow of a giant laurel. 
He had come as near as he dared, as near as it was neces- 
sary for his purpose, for every dancer whirling by was 
distinctly visible. Pew escaped a passing scrutiny, but 
his gaze was concentrated chiefly on the heiress of Ingram, 
as she wbirled in the mazes of an entrancing waltz, or 
flirted with all the abandon of her mood during the pauses 
of a quadrille. If she looked charming in her plain girlish 
day-dress, she looked fairy-like now in the white, puffy, 
cloudy robe, that gave her much the appearance of the 
ballet-dancer she had said she felt Hke. 

The night waned and waxed into morning, but still 
4h3<t man stood there. His purpose had not been answered 

Suddenly a marked j)ause took place in the dancing, 
the room began to thin, the band played operatic selections 
instead of galops and polkas — soft, sweet airs, that floated 
out on to the lawn. 

They- were going in to supper, and the tramp — for 
tramp he was — for the first time shifted his position. He 
soon found the window he wanted, and then he had 
isecured what he sought. Lord Ingram was full in view, 

I 2 


and his niece was only a few paces distant. Did tlie 
stately peer glance with any pride at the slight girl who 
would inherit his name and honours ? Did his eye kindle 
at the admiration so freely accorded to her? Did he too feel 
a triumph when her brilliant repartee had made her the 
centre of a vivacious circle composed, not of mere brainless 
dandies, but of men whose brains gave lustre to their rank 
and blood ? 

Not once. He scarcely seemed to see her. She was 
an Ingram; therefore, she was above suspicion. The 
Ingrams were always capable of taking care of themselves. 
The arrogant pride of the man would have recoiled from 
the idea of anyone bearing his name requiring to be pro- 
tected from impertinence of any description, or being 
incapable of selecting precisely the proper associates. 

But she was not an Ingram near and dear enough for 
him to feel her small triumphs, to exult with a personal 
pleasure in her merry social victories. She might have 
been the veriest doQ that ever sported flaxen hair and a 
tumed-up nose, for all the difference it made to him. 

' It is well,' the tramp said. ' He is still the childless 
miajL She is nothing to him/ 



EvEBTTHnra was quiet at Ingram Place. The household 
had retired to rest, for hours were early when there was 
no especial dinner or reunion. Not a light was visible 

TWELVE o'clock OP THE NIGHT. 11^ 

anywhere, and the moonlight fell silently and lovingly on 
the sleeping flowers and the grand old guardian trees, odi 
the glistening white gravelled walks and on the smooth 
velvety lawn, with its marvellons mosaic, its clumps of fir, 
its hundred crowns of Norfolk pine. 

Into an open casement this same moonlight peeps with 
an impertinent stare, a saucy, quizzical enquiry of the 
white-draped bed as to why it should show itself to-night, 
when the friendly old pendulum was telling twelve o'clock 
of the night, when every other bed in the house was shut- 
tered up from the inquisitive rays« The same enquiry 
was clicked louder and louder every moment by the clock 
in the morning-room, whose ticking was heard all over the 
house, as the voice of one who would say, * Don't tell me 
what's going on ; I know all about it, hotter than you 
possibly can.' 

It was an upper room into which the moonlight entered 
so curiously, in which the cHck of the clock echoed so 
loudly ; a bare, scantUy-famished room, with a little bed and 
a washhand stand, and an old chest] of drawers surmounted 
by a small looking-glass — ^a carpetless, comfortless attic. 

Kneeling in the middle of the room was a young girl ; 
her small thin hands almost covering the pinched, pale 
&uce. Bound her like a glory fell the cold radiance, playing 
with the soft brown hair, dallying with the white forehead, 
the slender throat, the taper fingers interlaced so pitifully. 

Crunching on the gravel walk, and the timepiece has 
sounded twelve o'clock of the night. Late visitors to 
Ingram Place, surely. Trembling, shrinking, the girl rises. 
Shuddering, she quits the room. Quivering with a nervous 
dread at every sound, even the rustle of her dress, she 
glides with stealthy step along the corridor and down the 


staircase. Thus, trembling, shrinking, shuddering, she goes 
to meet her father. Only her fe,ther, Heaven help her. 
Heaven help all who go thus to meet a father. 

'It's glad to see me jou are, not a doubt of it,' he 

sneered, in low tones that had something of bitterness in 

their mockery. Then the pent-up tenderness of her 

clinging nature flowed out, and she took his hand in hers. 

Oh, ^Either, daddy, I am glad to see yon.' 

* Only you think I'll disgrace you in such fine company ?' 
He would not analyse the jealousy that prompted the 

question ; he would not admit that he clung to the affection 
of this girl who had lived so many years with him, and 
had not yet lost the gentleness Heaven gave her ; but he 
regretted his words when she looked up at him with a 
sad longing in her dark-rimmed eyes. 

* You know it's not that, father.' 

* Now look here,' and with a passionate determination he 
put fix)m him the tenderness of her words. He would not 
see the pleading, loving girl who called him father. Beso- 
lutely between himself and her he placed the form of a 
convict — ^not a crime-blackened villain, not a hardened, 
irreclaimable woman, but a girl, young, fair to see and full 
of promise to him, but hapless and hopeless, irretrievably 
disgraced. Only at that picture would he look, only 
by that irredeemable degradation would he be moved. 
Grasping the girl's slender wrist he went on — 

' Look here, and listen to what I tell you, and don't 
forget it. You're the daughter of a villain. Remember 
that, always remember that.' 

' No, father, I won't remember that,' she said, with a 
bravery that surprised him. *I'll forget everything, but 
that you are my father, that it's only me you have in the 

TWELVE o'clock OP THE NIGHT. 119 

world to comfort you, that whatever you may be to others 
you are good, always good to me.* 

' But I tell you no !' he said, lashing himself into un- 
governable fury. * I am not good to you, don't think it ; I 
tell you to remember that I am a thief, a burglar, a con- 
vict, a murderer, maybe. Remember that you bear my 
name, but remember always, always, the brand that is on it, 
the brand that you inherit ; that is never, no never, to be 
efi&iced from you ; that must scathe and bum your soul till 
death, though yon never committed a crime in your life ; 
that will send you to the convict station at the first breath 
raised against you, though you were innocent as the angels 
in Heaven.' 

She shivered like one in an ague, as her life dread 
took such awfal shape. 

* How long are you going to keep me here ? * 

* Where can I take you, father ? * 

* Where ? Why, into the house, I suppose.* 

' Oh, daddy,' and she pressed her hands to her side 
like one in pain ; * it's not goin' to steal you are fixjm Mrs. 
Chirrup ? ' 

*Pray, when did you get to use such ugly words? 
Well, yes, we'll have it out ; it'll make you remember better, 
though it's not so genteel. Why shouldn't I steal from Mrs. 
Chirrup as well as anybody else ? * 

* She's so good to me.' 

* Is she ? She'll trust you all the more.' 

' She does trust me ; that's it. She does trust me so 

A black frown overspread his fiEtce, as he grasped her 
wrist with almost brutal ferocity. 

' All the more reason why she should be fooled. Now 


let this nonsense be done, or to the gallows jon go as snre 
as she went to the hell of Botany Bay. Bring me into the 

He had not lost his mysterions influence, and he wielded 
it with terrible mercilessness. She turned irresolutely, 
then paused. 

^ Oh, &ther, she's so good to me.' 

' And I'm not, I suppose. Is that it ? Is that what 
your maudlin comes to? You would see your Neither 
starve for a stranger.' 

'Father, you know I would do anything,' she said, 
wringing her hands, * only ' 

* Only what you could ? Well, never mind, I can 
manage without your help, maybe, or perhaps you'd like 
to call the servants to take Balfe the robber. It's a 
reward they'll be giving you.' 

She made no answer to a taunt that stung her to the 
quick, except to interpose her fragile figure in his path. 

' Father, daddy^ you musn't rob this kind lady. Oh, 

* Musn't ? Keep back, I tell you.' 

There was murder in his eyes, but she never quailed.. 

* Father, dear father ' 

He flung her from him as though she were some loath- 
some thing. 

* Back, back, I tell you. Go and call your friends to 
take your father ; but don't stand between me and my 

What should she do ? She heard the chink of broken 
glass, of bolts withdrawn ; she saw the dark figure disappear 
from the clear moonlight, and yet she did not move. Why 
should she P What would she effect ? 

TWELVE o'clock OF THE NIGHT. 121 

A step on the lawn, and lier father was yet in the house. 
A cold dew stood on her forehead, her blood seemed 
turned to clammy moisture that exuded from every pore. 
What if he were a burglar and a convict ? He was the only 
parent she had ever known. He had not filled her life 
with those petty persecutions that mark a little as well as 
a wicked mind; that engender the bitterest hate, the 
cruellest sense of wrong ; he had even in a measure pro- 
tected her from those who would have done so. It was 
horrible to think of him cooped up in a trap without a 
chance of escape. 

She darted across the lawn just as he emerged laden 
with such booty as he could carry. 

' Make haste,' she whispered in terrified accents. ' Some- 
one's outside watching.' 

* All right. Do you lock the door ; and take my advice, 
keep a quiet tongue in your head. You're an accomplice 
in the act, and it would be as ugly for you as me, d'ye 

No one crossed her on the staircase, there was no one 
in the long corridors, and with the old pain at her heart she 
stood at last in the bare, moonlit room, locked in with 
that ghostly bed with its white covering, that gaunt press, 
that dim mirror out of which looked queer weird shapes. 

* What would they do on the morrow ? What would 
they say ? What would they think ? Would they sus^ 
pect her ? When would the robbery be discovered ? Who 
would find her out first? Would they believe her all 
guilty ? Or would they show her any mercy ? Was it 
possible that they might not suspect her, but put it down 
to a burglarious attempt ? 

The agony of a lifetime was comprehended in that one 
aiffhl dread — * Would they find her out f ' 





Mes. Chirrup was very mucli puzzled. Miss Ingram 
was very indignant. 

* It was too bad,' she said to Charlie Devereux, * to sus- 
pect a g^l just because she was a stranger, and was awk- 
ward and nervous, and Mr. Blennerhasset ought to be 
ashamed of himself, heaping vague suspicions on one whom 
he could not accuse of anything tangible. 

Yes, Mrs. Chirrup was puzzled. She wouldn't own it, 
not even to her friend the clock, which was very ungratefal 
of her, but she was dreadfully puzzled. She had a great 
pity for that wistftil pale face, with its sad, sad story of a 
loveless childhood; and it did violent battle with her 
veneration for Mr. Blennerhasset's penetration. * Keep 
her in sight,' had been the lawyer's advice. * Keep her in 
sight, but say nothing.' Very good advice, no doubt, very 
easy to give, but just a little perplexing. Say nothing ! — of 
course she would say nothing, because she had nothing to 
say ; and as to keeping her in sight — an imperious ring of the 
bell brought the girl to her. There might have been a little 
hesitation, a little trepidation in E!ate's manner of coming ; 
but she came, she was there. 

Not even with the clock clicking, * Take your time now, 
take your time now,' could Mrs. Chirrup exercise even 
common patience; she was in a perfect fever to get the 
thing over somehow. 

' What were you doing on the lawn last nighty Elate ? ' 


The pale, pinched face grew paler and more pinched till 
it resembled that of a dead person. 

* Me, ma'am ? ' 

* Yes, yon.* 

* Ton gave me leave after dinner.' 

' I didn't know you were in the habit of staying out till 
one o'clock.' 

* One o'clock ? ' 

* Weren't you on the lawn last night between twelve 
and one ? ' 

* N — o. What should I do at that hour of the night ? ' 

* What, indeed ? ' echoed Mrs. Chirrup impatiently, con- 
sidering that the matter had ended very satisfactorily. 
* Gome and brush my hair, child.' 

Soft, silky, with great waves running through it, was 
the still luxuriant grey hair, and Kate's hands ghded over 
it with a soft mesmeric touch, but never by any chance did 
she meet the bright hazel eyes that watched her out of the 
glass. Presently she spoke, and Mrs. Chirrup began to 
think her nerves must be seriously out of order, so dis- 
cordant seemed the tones of her voice. 

* K you please, will you let me go home ? * 

* I want to go home.' 

* To-day ? ' 

* Yes ; let me go to-day.' 

* For how long ? ' 

* For — always.' 

Mrs. Chirrup turned round aghast. Never had she 
noticed so plainly the stealthy, downcast look Mr. Blenner- 
hasset had observed. 

* How have I ill-treated you, Kate ? ' 


* You have been too good to me, but I can't stay ; please 
let me go.* 

* Oh, this is too bad ; just as I had got used to you,' and 
tears of grief and indignation stood in the pleasant brown 
eyes. ' You are a very tmgratefdl girl' 

She made no answer ; then a new idea came to Mrs. 
Chirrup. The poor girl was home-sick, of course ; she would 
let her go for a few days ; and so it was arranged. Kate 
quitted the room in the quiet, noiseless way peculiar to 
her, and stood face to face with Mr. Blennerhasset. 

She knew at the first glance that there was no hope 
for her in the relentless justice that gleamed, oh Heaven, 
how cruelly, in those steely blue eyes, that was written on 
the implacable brow. 

What a terrible thing is Justice to us poor mortals, 
what a fearM two-edged sword is it for us children of an 
hour to toy with ! What have we to do with that which, 
untempered by mercy, would annihilate our race in a 
moment, or hurl us into everlasting torment without an 
instant's warning P And yet there was no piiy, no relent- 
ing, no sign of sorrow for the ignorant, it might be sorely 
tempted sinner ; only crude, stem justice for the sin. A 
hunted look came into the girl's eyes as she read his face, 
such a look as may come into the eyes of a poor hare 
before the dogs have startled her, and before she has 
commenced the doubling and winding that is such agony 
to her, such keen fun to them, before the end comes that is 
death to the fugitive, and very good sport to her pursuers. 

* I want to speak to you ; come this way.' 

She followed him into the library. Erect, cold, severe. 
*No mercy, no allowance for weakness or temptation or 
ignorance,' was written plainly on Rohan Blennerhasset's 


stem brow, and the girl knew it witli an nnerring instinct, 
thougli she did not shape the knowledge into words. Mr. 
Blennerhasset stood on the rag, with his back to the fire, 
not langoidly but with an absence of all hnman emotion, 
and the outcast of the Thieves' Latin knew that she stood 
before her accuser and her judge. 

* Now listen to me attentively,' the accuser said ; * and 
if you are a wise girl you will profit by what I am about 
to say. The head butler has reported to his mistress the 
disappearance of some valuable plate. With Lord Ligram's 
permission I have despatched him to the police-station. 
Are you willing to secure for yourself the utmost amount 
of leniency, by confessing your accomplices ? No ; don't 
speak in a hurry, take time to consider the consequences of 
a refusal.^ 

She did take time, for though he waited nearly two 
minutes, she had not yet spoken. 

* You are aware, I suppose, that if you remain silent 
there is nothing left to do but to give you in charge as 
soon as the policeman arrives, when you will doubtless be 
committed for triaJ. You look young to have committed a 
crime whose punishment must be transportation. 

The hunted look deepened in intensity. 

* Oh, don't send me to gaol ; don't.' 

* I have no wish to do so, unless you compel me.' After 
a pause, during which the piercing eyes that never wan- 
dered read guilt in eveiy line of that pinched face, he 

'You do not seem anxious to secure the means of 
escape. I have pointed out the only ones that exist.' 

Li a sudden paroxysm of fear she clasped her hands, 
wailing piteously. 


* Don't — don't send me to gaol. Oh, don't.' 

* Will yon tell ? ' 

* Don't let them take me,* she almost shrieked. 

* Who stole the plate ? Where are they to be fonnd ? ' 
A despairing moan, as she swayed to and &o, was all 

the answer he could elicit. 

* You had better come this way for the present,' he 
remarked. She followed to a spare bedroom on the 
second floor, in which he locked her, and returned to the 

* She will tell, she is frightened,' was his conclusion ; 
and he had not altered it when the policeman arrived. A 
servant was summoned to show him the room, which the 
men entered together. 

It was empty. 

Mr. Blennerhasset was summoned to assist in the 
search. Ransacking wardrobes and trunks and drawers ; 
under the beds and sofas and tables and chairs, they hanted 
for the fdgitive ; behind towel racks and doors, into all 
sorts of impossible places, they peered, in vain. Only an 
open window testified that the room had been occupied 
since Mr. Blennerhasset had locked the door so securely. 
This window looked out on a smooth grass plot ; it was 
twenty feet from the ground, and there were no projections 
beneath it, only a smooth wall, with thick ivy torn and 

* Who is it I'm to take, sir ? ' grinned the bobby. 

' Jump down there, and you'll very likely find a trail,* 
was the gentleman's retort ; but Mr. Wheezer was a stout 
man, and seeing the joke likely to turn against him, he 
declined with thanks. 

Mrs. Chirrup sat pettish and discontented in her pretty 


moming-room, having a terrible squabble with the clock, 
that would say nothing to comfort her. 

* How can she go away when I felt so sorry for her 
poor bruised face ? ' she said. * She's gone by this time, 
I suppose.* 

* Gone away, gone away,' wailed the clock. 

*Yes, I know,' the silver-haired lady said testily. 
* What's the good of your dinging that into me, you stupid 
old thing. Tell me when she's coming back.' 

* Can't come back, won't come back,' sang the clock. 

* I don't believe you,' retorted the little lady, jumping 
up. *Just tell the truth, or I'll send you to a lunatic 
asylum with your diseased brain.' 

* Gone for ever, gone for ever,' said the clock per- 

* You're a tiresome old thing, after all,' said Mrs. 
Chirrup, going out of the room indignantly ; * very stupid 
too. I won't listen to you.' 

* If you please, ma'am, Kate is gone.* 

* What if she is ? ' exclaimed the lady irritably. * Must 
you ding it at me too ? ' 

*I believe we may consider this conclusive proof of 
conscious guilt,' Mr. Blennerhasset remarked, coming to- 
wards her. * I am sorry for you, my dear madam, to have 
your trust abused, but it is better than that you should 
continue to harbour one so dangerous.' 

* My dear sir, I gave Kate leave to go,' Mrs. Chirrup 
said ; considering that everything and everybody had con- 
spired to annoy her. 

* Yes, but you don't know ' 

' Excuse me, I do know ; she came and told me the very 
&st thing. But I never can keep anybody I like, and she 



was a girl tliat could be quiet. I do hate those people who 
talk, talk, talk, till they talk all their brains out, and then 
can't stop.' 

* I grant you talking is a very tiresome thing, but it has 
its uses at times. So if you will permit me ' 

Mrs. Chirrup resigned herself to the lecture ; but 
instead of a lecture she got a succinct account of the state 
of her plate-basket, and the course taken by the lawyer. 

It was all mystification to Mrs. Chirrup. There 
seemed no reasonable doubt of the parlour-maid's guilt, yet 
somehow Mrs. Chirrup did not feel as grateful to Mr. 
Blennerhasset as she felt she ought. 

* Of course, it's very nice of him to be so anxious, and 
quite rigbt of him to be so highly principled,' she said 
confidentially to her prime favourite, handsome Charlie ; 
* but somehow it's abominably nasty.' 

* To be sure it is/ said Charlie sympathisingly. * Why 
couldn't he let the matter drop, and the girl too ? He's a 
good fellow, a fine fellow ; but if she's such a poor little bit 
of a creature, it's hardly worth while frightening what life 
sbe has out of her.' 


THE tramp's second VISIT. 

Time had not dealt gently with Lord Ingram of Ingram 
Place, and the change is more plainly marked as he sits 
now free frx)m prying eyes, free from the noblesse ohlige 


that weighed down and crushed out every natural emotion. 
The last twelve years had not passed as lightly over the 
lord as they might over a commoner man: perhaps it 
would not have been respectful to do ■ so. Lines and 
wrinkles marked the haughty forehead, the aristocratfc 
nose and chin had grown more unyielding, the finely 
curved lips had forgotten how to smile, the blue, clear 
eyes, so like Bohan Blennerhasset's, had lost the trick 
of brightening into life at the sound of two little feet 
pattering along in baby disdain of aristocratic quietude, at 
the touch of two tiny soft white arms, that ignored the 
peer, to twine about pa's neck. 

What though there was a Miss Ingram, who came at 
stated times to the Place ? She was not the saucy chatter- 
box who twelve years ago had talked wiser lore to her 
lordly father than ever he had learnt at college or in 
council chamber. The present Miss Ingram, Baroness 
Ingram to be, might be a charming girl, but she did not 
call hin£ father, she did not call Ingram Place her home. 
Now that her school life was over, she would reside mor© 
at the Place and less at Bosehill than formerly, but not 
because of any desire on the part of either uncle or niece 
to enjoy each other's society, simply because it was the 
proper thing to do. 

Lord Ingram has no fear of being disturbed in his 
study. Not even his own particular body-guard, mis- 
named a valet, dared intrude without knocking; so my 
lord was not a&aid to take out a tiny portrait, and placing 
it on the ebony table before him, scrutinise it with melan- 
choly earnestness. It was only a portrait of a child, with 
marvellous dark dreamy eyes, that looked out at you full 
of a solemn wonder, a smooth white forehead, and poutmg 

VOL. I. K 


baby lips that had curves of sancy archness ; a sweet pretty 
face, set in a framework of flossy curls, bnt shadowed by 
a far-away expression, that the painter had caught or 

* It was there, and I never saw it,' he murmured pain- 
fully. * I thought the man was a fool when he painted the 
shadow that I could not see. But I know now that I 
might have seen it had I looked.' 

He sighed, partly in pity for the face that was lost, 
partly in pity for himself. For he pitied himself, this 
childless old man, but he would permit no one else to do 
so. The blow that might have broken a weaker nature, 
and softened a higher one, had but hardened his. His 
gaze wandered from the portrait to the large low window, 
in whose frame was set a dusky picture of foliage, with 
golden clumps of sunlight peeping through. Lord Ingram 
had had the shrubbery brought up very close to this end of 
the house, and only a patch of velvet sward lay between 
the open window and the circular belt of glossy laurels 
gleaming in the low western sun, flinging back a golden 
sheen on the tall dark firs behind, that rose higher and 
higher in the distance till they crowned the slope. 

Lord Ingram could not tell when he first saw that dark 
figure standing between him and that belt of laurel ; stand- 
ing in the glorious light of sunset, but not lit up with its 
glory ; casting off its radiance to stand defiant in its cold, 
black misery. He only knew that it was there, and that 
instead of rising to summon assistance, he sat looking at it 
till it stood in the framework of the window. 

Only a tramp. Nothing more. A stem beggar, if you 
will, but only a beggar. A strange one to stand in Lord 
Ingram's private shrubbery, to step across the low window- 


sill, to confront nnannounced the insolent patrician who 
denied himself to dukes, and flnng back with the pride of 
the heir of a hnndred generations the condescension of royal 
princes, the descendant of a feudal race that had never in 
all its haughty line given to the world a prouder trampler 
on plebeian dust than its present representative. 

For a time he stood motionless. Lord Ingram could 
never tell how long, he could not count by minutes or 
seconds in that strange stupor that had crept over him; 
he measured by his excited passions, the wild hopes, the 
keen agonies that surged over him in that indefinite space, 
and it seemed an age. Then the stupor cleared away, and 
he saw the intrusion in its proper light. A member of the 
rabble had presumed to force himself upon him, Ralph 
O'Regan Ingram of Ingram. 

' I knew it was no use for the like of me to ask to see 
your lordship,' the intruder said in strangely humble tones ; 
* so I made bold to come upon your lordship to save you 
from doin' a wrong you might be sorry for.' 

* You save me from doing a wrong ! ' repeated Lord 
Ingram in accents of scathing contempt. ' What can there 
be in common betwixt you and me to render such a thing 
possible?' and Lord Ingram pushed the table from him^ 
and stood erect in his magnificent pride and aristocratic 

* Yet I tell you, my lord, it is simply as a matter of 
justice I am here. I'd be sorry to do you an injustice.' 

* You have chosen a very paltry excuse for your insolent 
intrusion. Quit the house at once, or I will shoot you 
down like a dog.* 

There was cruel, unmjstakeable truth in the clear, stem 
voice, in the cold, pitiless bine eyes. 

K 2 





* Sure, an' it's yourself that would, and no doubt at a] 
about it. Didn't ye send Tim Bonan to break stones O] 
the road, for taking a hare you couldn't miss out c 
thousands ; and didn't you turn out his sick wife and si; 
babbies, when she couldn't pay the rent ? But why not 
sure, when one of your lordship's little whims was crossed 
even though it might be by a hungry man, who needn't hav 
been hungry if he hadn't been honest ? Didn't you driv 
handsome Jack Bergin, that never owed a man a shilling 
out of the country, because he wouldn't own himsel 
your slave, body and soul, as well as your tenant ? Didn' 
you rack-rent him out of the place, because he wouldn' 
crawl under your feet till he hadn't an inch of manhooc 
left, till he was the worthless caitiff all low-bom wretche; 
are in your eyes ? And do I think that pity or consider 
ation 'ud stop your hand from takin' my life ? Sure, I'n 
nothin' but a peasant bom, dirt and dust in your eyes, m^ 
lord, to grow the vegetables for your tiable. But, though I'n 
not an honest man, I'm a just one ; oh, I'm very just, m^ 
lord, not just like you, that's not to be expected, but jus 
in a fashion of my own, that makes me risk my life to tel 
you my story. It's so little I have to say, my lord, anc 
whether you grant or reftise my petition, I must go awaj 
quietly, but say it I must ; and if you had a daughter, may 
be you'd do as I do.' 

Vague recollections oppressed Lord Ingram, and bend 
ing forward he asked, 

* Who are you ? ' 

* Sure it's not of myself that I'd talk to your lordship, 
said the tramp, still with the same incongruous humility 
* It's a slip of a girl I come about. She's fourteen, about 
an' I felt sorry for her ; an' I thought, though you wor i 


hard man to the poor, you might be sorry as well, if you 
only knew. The assizes come on next week, an' it's trans- 
ported she'll be, an' more's the pity, for there's the makin's 
of a good woman in her.' 

* Good or bad, what is it to me ? What interest do 
I take in your wretched lives ? ' 

* Sure, I know that,' and the humility that was so like 
suppressed fierceness deepened. ' But I wanted to tell your 
lordship what a pitiful life the poor creature led, all along ; 
the way she was brought up to sin for a living ; the way 
she was shut out from every chance of knowin' good from 

* Spare yourself the trouble and me the details. It's the 
old story. You're all thieves and rogues because you 
cannot help it ; that's your creed, I believe, and to a certain 
extent it's mine. Bat while you see in it a plea for mercy, 
I look upon it as an additional reason for extermination.' 

* Sure, an' it's not for the like of me to contradict your 
lordship, or to remind you of the foolish notion that we 
vermin have souls as well as bodies ; or that we wouldn't 
be so bad if we had the chance to be better. It's in the 
blood, it is, the badness, sure, isn't it, my lord ? An' a 
gentlemen or a lady bom couldn't be so vile as us, no 
matter how they wor ? It wouldn't be in the blood, would 
it, my lord? How could a girl be honest, and be my 
daughter ? ' 

Again came the vague and shifting recollection dis- 
turbing the peer. Perhaps it was only those restless, fiery 
eyes. They were enough to fidget an ordinary person. 

* Who are you ? ' he demanded, for the second time. 

* A robber, my lord, a returned convict ; a man who 
holds lightly the life of one who comes betwixt him and 



his purpose ; a man who has so little regard for the laws of 
Heaven and earth, that he would think less of felling you 
to the ground than of wringing the neck of yon strutting 

What was it kept that nervous hand from raising the 
pistol that always lay on the table now ? 

* Your name ? * 

'Anything but that/ said the tramp, with a grim smile, 
that contrasted queerly enough with his humility. * But 
what of that ? I tell you what sort of reptile I am, and I 
ask you, again, what chance my daughter has of being 
honest ? * 

' Have you nothing more to say ? * the nobleman asked, 
wondering why he spoke the words. 

' Nothing more ; only that she is her father's only child, 
that she will leave him very desolate, and that to the 
weight of his ruined soul will be added hers. Think of 
that when you sit on your bench, and let it move you to 
pity when you pass judgment. 

' Enough of this,* and Lord Ingram waved his hand 

' Yes ; perhaps it is more than enough, more than 
enough. What right have I to try to turn you from the 
misery that threatens you ? ' 

' Threatens me ! ' and the clear blue eyes flashed with 
patrician disdain. * Fellow, do you mean to bully me ? * 

A strange weird hollow laugh the tramp laughed, a 
laugh of snch bitter merriment that the blackest scowl were 
more mirthful. 

* Bully you, my lord ? I wouldn't bully you for the 
world, and in this thing least of all, but may I not know 


if my poor girl will have any chance ? Will you think of 
her bringing up ? * 

' I shall think of the evidence before me and the nature 
of her crime. I have said.* 

Lord Ingram was prepared for a passionate outburst of 
rage and grief, |such as ' those people generally amuse 
themselves with,' but he was not prepared for the 
diabolical Ipok that came into the face of the tramp, that 
did not die away, but only sank back into the cavernous 
eyes whence it had leaped forth with such unholy ex- 

' And' so have I. Good even, my lord.* 



* Come quietly along by the houses — that is to say, what 
you call the houses — and we*U pounce upon her.' 

'I'm agreeable, I'm sure enough,' the burly policeman 
replied. ' Bless you, sir, I'd rather go asy than quick any 
day in the year.' 

' I can understand that,* rejoined the sharp clerk from 
the Four Courts, Bohan Blennerhasset's factotum. ' It's 
rather a misfortune for a man in your profession to be so 
stout. However, don't let the girl escape, that's all. If 
ever you ran in youi' life, run now, for I don't see another 
policeman anywhere, and it's too good a chance to be lost. 
I saw her go into a house not five minutes ago. If she 


should take to her heels, don't mind a little puffing and 
blowing. I'll make it worth your while.' 

* Stout is it ? Arrah, now don't be poking your fun at 
me, Mister Bignoles. Of course it's my best I'll do ; but 
is she such a villain, out-and-out ? * 

* Dreadful,' and Mr. Bignoles shook his head severely, 
until the long, rather diriy-looking grey beard wagged 
solemnly ludicrous condemnation. * She has deceived so 
many, but especially ' 

* Ah now ? Is it a gay desaiver she is ? Sure, I 
thought that was generally laid to the other side,' 

' If you will allow me to talk, I was going to explain. 
She deceived her mistress ' 

* I beg your pardon, Mr. Bignose, entirely, but what else 
am I to catch hould of her for ? Desaivin isn't a lawful 
offence, ye see.' 

* She is a thief, a burglar, a housebreaker ; goodness 
only knows what.' 

* Or — ^badness — ^to be polite. Och, but it's joking ye 
are. No ? Well, that's out- arid-out, and she but a slip of 
a girl.' 

' There, there ! ' exclaimed the clerk excitedly. 

Emerging from an isolated building, that from its shape 
had evidently once been a tower, was a girl, apparently 
fourteen from her size and figure, but with the face of a 
woman, pale and pinched, weighted with the shadow of a 
fear that had dilated the eyes and drawn deep blue circles 
round them. She looked round anxiously, but the two 
men had withdrawn, stooping behind a low wall till she 
should be fairly clear of the house ; and as she saw no 
cause for alarm a sigh of relief escaped her, a faint smile 
at her own cowardice flickered over her face. 


* Heaven save the mark, sir, but she's not the house- 
breaker! * ejaculated Mr. Wheeler, loth he knew not 
why to seize that miserable object. 

* But, I tell you, yes. I am responsible ; so seize her at 

She came quietly to meet them, and they left their 
hiding-place. In an instant she comprehended that the 
terror of her life had come upon her : that the ruthless 
hand of the law was stretched out to drag her to a 
shameful trial, which could only end in a cruel sentence ; 
a sentence that with all its ignominious details would ring 
in a thousand ears, while a thousand eyes glutted their 
love of the horrible, by gazing at her wretchedness. With 
an appalling shriek she recoiled. The hunted look 
deepened in its intense agony, the dogs were already 
showing their fangs. So laden with human pain was the 
cry she uttered, that Wheezy Wheeler paused a moment. 
Then professional instincts overcame all others, and he 
advanced, saying, 

* I arrest you ' 

He did not finish the sentence. Desperation had taken 
possession of her, and she had turned swiftly and fled. 
Fled for her life, though she had no hope; only a vague 
terror behind goading her onward. 

' Bun, man, run ! * shouted Mr. Bignoles, furiously. 
* Run, or she'll escape us yet.' 

Wheezy Wheeler was not a bad man nor an unfeeling 
man. He was not even a stem moralist. He could 
feel for a fellow- creature in distress, however much it 
might be deserved. But he had the love of a policeman, 
despite his load of flesh, and he could not see a culprit 
run, without hia heels itching to be after him, his fingers 


tingling to catcli him. Obeying his instincts as well as his 
companion's commands, he started in pursuit, greatly to 
the admiration of the elderly clerk with the very large 
hooked nose and the dirty grey beard, who was of an 
asthmatic turn. Doubling on her pursuers at every con- 
ceivable corner, the girl ran wildly on, but they kept well in 
sight. Up the narrow squalid street, out into reeking bye- 
lanes, past rows of crazy tumbledown tenements, whose 
listless, half dead and alive inhabitants came to the .doors, 
roused into a feeble life by the chase that passed like a 
flash J across meadows, over ditches, through bush and 
brake and briar, heedless of wounds and bruises, through 
mud and mire and thick brick clay, on she ran madly, 
caring nothing where she went, no object in view, only 
possessed by a wild unreasoning terror that seemed to lend 
her wings. 

Good Heaven ! how she runs. The ground flies from 
under her feet : hedges, ditches, walls, houses, gardens, 
trees, brick kilns, dash past in endless succession, in be- 
wildering confusion. Her strength is failing, her head is 
giddy, her eyes grow blind ; yet still she runs on, and still 
her pursuers follow. 

* Oh, it's no use at all, at all, Mr. Bignose. I can't stir 
another step,' ejaculated Wheezy Wheeler piteously. ' Faix, 
it's big conscience ye ought to be called.' 

* Ye go on ! ' shouted Mr. Bignoles hoarsely, * or you 
don't get a farthing. Take her, and I'll double the fiver.' 

* All right, Mr. Longnose ; sure, it'll be a help to Ihe 
wife and the childher^ at any rate ; ' and the almost sufib- 
cated man started ofl* again. 

' How'll I ever get up that hill ? ' he ejaculated men- 
tally, for he had no more strength to speak. * If the road to 


Heaven's like this, I don't wonder the cratnres don't like 
to go too quick. More remarkably them that's something 
of my own shape, save the mark. But sure she can't hold 
out much longer ? ' 

Two boys are playing on the top of the hill. In mere 
sporb they turn from their play to watch the hunted crea- 
ture who comes toward them. If she can but mount that 
hill, she may hide on the other side. It was the first 
definite thought of escape that had flashed across her, and 
it added vigour to her flagging step. But a wild shout 
passes her by on the breeze. 

' Stop the thief ! ' 

She sees the boys approach her. She waves them back 
with a mute appeal for mercy that her parched lips cannot 
utter. With a sudden swerve she eludes their grasp, 
making for the side of the hill, where a huge brick pond 
extends, with steep, sharp banks, like the sides of a quarry. 
If she can only reach that. They will hardly follow her 

* Keep her from the water ; she is mad ! ' shouted the 
clerk, and a bricklayer rushes from the kiln to intercept 
the fugitive. Will he be in time ? With a last efibrt, she 
redoubles her speed; the friendly water is so near, the 
slimy yeUow pool that will be so cool and peaceful a bed, 
so thick a curtain between her misery and the eyes of a 
merciless crowd, an awful judge ; so kindly an end to all 
her troubles. 

On, on the unfortunate fat man is obliged to go, with 
only a second's stoppage now and then, during which the 
cleik, who has taken a diverse course, sends a volley of 
execrations across at him. 

*!Faix, I can't stand this much longer,' he groaned, 



wiping the big drops of perspiration from his forehead, 
still panting on like a breathed elephant. * And if I stop 
he'll cheat me, as sure as day. Such a run for a jade like 
that. If I only had her ! It's an unprincipled creature 
she is to lead me such a race, and all for nothing.' 

Indignation supplied him with a little more strength, and 
again he runs, in a direction that will bring him between 
the clerk and the labourer. They are close to her now, 
very close ; she has had to double from the boys, and the 
labourer's hand almost touches her dress. Again she turns, 
eluding the man with incredible speed, and commences 
running in a sti'aight line for the brick pond. 

And the two boys for sport joined the chase, for mere 
sport helped to run the poor hunted creature down. Higher 
up on the hill than she was, they took a slanting direction 
toward the water. It was fine fun to circumvent the 
hapless runner ; and they laughed in triumphant glee, as the 
excitement warmed their blood and tingled in their veins. 

* Come on, Georgy, come on; we'll be down at the pond 
before her.' 

• You run that side, I'll run this.' 

They separated as they spoke, with a merry laugh. 
Their clear boyish voices floated past the fugitive as she 
still ran on, just as the wild mirth of her companions used 
to come ringing in her ears, in the old days of Jenny Joy. 
Gay voices seemed to sing the old refrain — 

Jenny Joy 's run away, run away. 


The old pain is at the heart, only sharper, keener, as dream- 
like reality is sharper than realistic dreaming. A piercing 
shriek burst from her white lips, as the taller of the two 
boys bounds towards her and grasps her dress. He stood 


still suddenly, like one transfixed, gazing at her rigid face, 
as his companion stood panting beside him. 

* Oh, Georgy, let her go,' exclaimed the yonnger boy, 
with sudden remorse. 

Willingly would Georgy do so if he could, but the delay 
is fatal. 

A few wild, despairing bounds to that placid, dull, 
yellow pool ; her pursuers are gaining at every step. Will 
she reach it ? She stands on the brink.. 

The calm, cold waters invite her to rest — rest that should 
never be broken by a keen pain, never be disturbed by a 
fevered fear — ^to repose calm, unruffled even by the tiniest 

Only one step more — 

Great Heavens ! they touch her — they have caught her. 

All is over. The dogs have brought the deer to bay. 

* Not dead, sir ?' whispered Georgy, awestruck, as he 
crept timidly near. 

* Dunno ; ought to be if she isn't,' Mr. Wheeler grum- 
bled. * Enough to kill a cat.' 

And he was not a hard man, nor a bad man. No, nor 
a weak one, though a treacherous drop did intrude itself 
into his eye. 





* Is it not a pretty picture ? Almost as good as a sonata, 

* Yes, yes, it is very pretty,' tlie Herr said. * I grant 
you it is one lofely sight ; but it is not music ; nein, nein.' 

* I thought you had eyes as well as ears,' said Robert 
Dalzell, with his quiet, patient smile. The Heir hummed 
over an air from an opera he was preparing, beating time 
with his nervous, muscular fingers on the marble piUar of 
the balcony, until they were occupied in dotting down 
chords on a piece of paper he took from his pocket, with a 
fat stump of a lead pencil, while the painter gave himself 
up to the charm of the scene. 

It was, as he had said, a very pretty picture. Sweeping 
away before him from the terrace to the fir belt was the 
lawn, stretching out at either side to the confines of the 
thickly wooded park. The smooth expanse of velvet sward 
was dotted with clumps of laurel, solitary oaks, gigantic 
cedars, magnificent queenly magnolias. No dainty patch 
of garden flowers marred the majestic woodland beauty of 
that lawn. A flower garden of surpassing loveHness was 
at another side, but here was naught but tree, and grass, 
and water, and wild anemones, and blue violets, nestling 
against mossy trunks, kissing and concealing gnarled 

A stately giant of the woods held solitary state not far 
from the terrace ; no meaner shrub grew near, only daisies 
and cowslips and field azaleas paid court to this lonely 


sovereign, only chattering songsters gave tribute to this 
king, and presumed to offer him companionship. Under 
the spreading branches sits Charlie Devereux, reading. 
Near him, half sitting, half reclining, is Miss Ingram. The 
burning sun shoots athwart the cumbersome boskage, 
seeking to see that which is thicklj hidden from his gaze, 
only succeeding in catching tiny glimpses here and there 
of a golden head, and a mop of chestnut curls, on each of 
which he leaves a wee patch of golden sunlight. Miss 
Ingram's eyes are fixed on vacancy, yet with a dim con- 
sciousness of the beauty around ; but her soul is in the 
magic words, the wondrous thoughts of the poet, whose 
interpreter Charlie Devereux has become. 

* Oh, Mr. Dalzell, Herr Joaquin,' she exclaimed, as the 
twQ artists strolled near. ' Come, come and listen ; I want 
you to hear this with me.' 

The grey-haired painter and the beetle-browed mu- 
sician paused in obedience to the sweetly imperious 
voice of this spoiled child of fortune. They hstened while 
the deep rich voice rolled out the beautiful words that an 
angel might have dreamed. 

* There is word music for you, Herr, and grand painting 
for you, Mr. Dalzell,' said the girl, looking up with her eyes 
full, oh, so full of enjoyment, brimming over with a glad- 
ness that made itself felt. 

*It is very goot, no doubt,' and the short portly 
musician nodded his ponderous head with a sort of con- 
temptuous approval, * but to call it music ? Ah ! non, 
non,' and he passed his big corded hand across his fore- 
head, flinging back the great black locks of hair, that at 
times gave him a truly villainous look, concealing as they 
did the wide, big-thoughted brow. 



*You can enjoy it,' Miss Ingram said impatiently, 
tnrning to Eobert Dalzell. 

* Yes,' he said, simply, * I cannot help it ; it appeals to 
my soul, ay, and to my artistic senses as well, for is it not 
a wonderful word picture ? ' 

* My lord wishes to speak to you, sir,' a servant said, 
addressing Charlie. 

The young man put down the book to obey the unusual 
summons. Herr Joaquin accompanied him to the house, 
and the painter and Miss Ingram sat under the big tree. 
Neither spoke for a time, but sat quietly enjoying the 
babble of the brook, the twitter of the birds, the echo 
of the poet's genius. Then Flossy looked up, speaking 
gently and thoughtfully, as she generally did to Robert 

*Do you know, Mr. Dalzell, I am getting very dis- 
contented ? ' 


* I am so useless. I am nothing, you know — I mean I 
do nothing. I am neither a painter, nor a musician, nor a 
sculptor, nor a writer, and yet I enjoy everything per- 
taining to those callings ; appreciate them so keenly, in fact, 
that I could never be satisfied with my meagre contri- 
butions, my powerless pictures, my soulless music, my 
imperfectly expressed thoughts. They would only drive me 
wild with vexation, I am sure. Why is it that Providence 
has given me no gift ? I have no place in the world that 
I enjoy so much.' 

* No gift ? When the gift of appreciation is so strong 
upon you ? Do not be discontented, my dear young lady. 
You have that which many men of fame and genius 
have not.' 


*But people won't give me credit for this spirit of 
appreciation. They won't allow me to sympathise with 
them, because I do nothing in their particular line. Herr 
Joaquin will not permit me to worship at the same shrine 
as himself, because I do not place on the altar the same 

* But do you know that more happiness is allotted to 
you than to that concentrated genius ? You have just 
sufficient knowledge of art to enjoy to the fall the glory of 
this sylvan picture, but not enough to make you feel that 
it cannot satisfy you until it is transferred to canvas. You 
can drink in all the sweetness of a symphony, without an 
innate conviction that you can never cease striving till you 
have produced something as grand. All nature is open to 
you without hindrance or alloy ; all art contributes to your 
gratification without requiring anything in return. Why, 
then, should you quarrel with your organisation ? ' 

* No no, that is not it, Mr. Dalzell. I am not ambitious, 
nor am I ungrateful. But I am sometimes troubled with 
this doubt : What right have I, who give nothing, to enjoy 
everything ? ' 

* The right of the power to do so. You have a great 
gift, I tell you.' 

' Ah ! but it is such a selfish one. And though I am 
not ambitious, I do not always like being set down for a 
fool, a shallow, superficial school-girl, and I do some- 
times wish to be useftd in some way.' 

* Are we then only to credit with intellect those who paint 
a picture, or write a book, or compose a sonata ? Does that 
man or woman who has only the charm of being tran- 
scendently companionable, who has only the power of 
entering into and sympathising in the highest sense with 

VOL. I. L 


146 UraSAK PLACE. 

the thoughts and aspirations of others, rank lowest in the 
scale ? For whom then should we paint pictures or write 
books ? Assuredly not for onr fellow artists. Must it 
then be fi»r the fools ? ' 

* Yea comfort me, Mr. Dalzell ; ' and then the snnny 
laugh rippled out under the great beech tree, and Miss 
Ingram flung abstract questions to the winds, and when 
Bohan Blennerhasset crossed the lawn, having left his 
horse at the stables, he found only the gay madcap, bent on 
charming everyone within her magic circle, even that 
quiet man with the noble brow and the hair more grey 
than brown. By-and-by the sun, finding it impossible to 
penetrate thoroughly the thick foliage, crept round to the 
library to see what was going on there, for the heavy cur- 
tains were drawn back, and a sound of voices issued &om 
the open windows. The &ce of the Sphinx, supremely 
calm, sublimely moveless, yet instinct with the life of a 
wondrous conception, that looked down with such in- 
difference on those low luxurious bergeres, and fauteuils, 
and buhl tables, and ebony cabinets, looked down now 
with as littie interest on the haughty form of a man whose 
age and whose suffering had not taught him to submit- to 
contradiction ; on a fear young girl with golden hair falling 
not in curls but in masses over the slender shoulders, with 
red lips, pouting now, with a rose gleam on her cheek, and 
brilliant, mirthful, mischievous eyes ; on a handsome curly- 
haired young man standing opposite, with as daring a look in 
the hazel eyes as ever a Ptolemy wore when he laughed in 
the face of the grim death hung up in his banqueting hall. 

* I have explained the matter as far as I can, my lord,* 
he said in his happy, buoyant, boyish way. ' Flossy and I 
^ttled it long ago.' 


* Indeed? Permit me to thank yourself and Miss 
Ingram for the consideration.' 

*No, don't, uncle,' Flossy interrupted irreverently. 
* How could I come and tell you I wasn't going to get 
married, when you never thought it worth your while to 
mention the matter to me ? ' 

*Are you going to lecture me on my duty. Miss 
Ingram? ' 

* Good gracious ! no, uncle ; I couldn't lecture even if I 
tried, though I've no doubt you would prove a highly sug- 
gestive subject. But you surely did not expect me to take 
the initiative in such a matter ? It would have been 
highly indelicate.' 

* Have you descended to equivocation. Miss Ingram ? 
Are you going to assert that my wishes, the joint plans of 
the heads of two noble families, were unknown to you ? ' 

* Dear me, no. Of course I knew all about them ; and 
it was just because they made me so uncomfortable, and 
things in general so awkward, that Charlie and I had a 
grand clearing up. You have no idea how delightfully 
things have gone since then.' 

' That will do ; I have heard enough.' He waved them 
away with an impatient gesture ; he wanted to bo alone to 
realise this incomprehensible, unheard-of audacity. 

* My dear child, is it possible it is come to this ? ' ex- 
claimed Mrs. Chirrup in dismay, as the two unabashed 
criminals stood before her, giving her an outline of the 

* Come to this ? ' Miss Ingram exclaimed. * Now for a 
darling little fairy godmother, as you are, you are very 
obtuse. You don't mean to say you thought Charlie and 
I were going to get married ? ' 

L 2 



* I don't see what else I should have thought ; but of 
course it doesn't matter.' 

' Indeed, but it does matter,' Flossy retorted. * You 
will allow me to remark that you take the giving up of me 
very coolly. Don't you think, if I were going to be 
married, I would make a little more fass about it ? * 

* Don't be frivolous ' 

' It's you that are frivolous, my dear, to take so serious 
a matter so lightly.' 

* One doesn't get married every day, you know, auntie,' 
Charlie added sagely, bending his bright, handsome, boyish 
face to hers. * But don't blame me, you know,' and he 
caressed the little white hands coaxingly, for dear little 
aunfc was a particular pet of handsome Charlie's. * It's all 
that Flossy. She wouldn't have me at any price. Fact, I 
assure you. I went down on my bended knees ' 

* To beg me to refuse him. Fact, I assure you,' Flossy 
interrupted with immovable seriousness. * I didn't like 
promising at first, knowing the grave interests that were 
at stake. I set before him the facts of the case, the 
shocking disappointment it would be to Grand Llama. I 
reasdned with him gravely, and I may say, though I say it 
that should not, eloquently, but all in vain. His heart was 
stone, and I was obliged to give in.' 

Which of them is at fault? queried Mrs. Chirrup, 
. scanning the mischievous faces before her. Surely she had 
not been mistaken all those years. There was, there 
must be love between them, but on whose side was it ? 

* Upon my word. Miss Ingram, I am shocked at you,' 
Charlie said, lifting his hands in horrified surprise. 
* But you know better than to believe such an unprincipled 
young person. Don't you, aunt ? ' 


* You know that I was the very essence of goodness till 
that Charlie came here, and that evil communications cor- 
rupt good manners ; don't you, godmother ? ' 

* I'm really beginning to think you're one as bad as the 
other. There's not a choice between you, I do declare,' 
Mrs. Chirrup said, with a good deal of energy. * But whafc 
did your uncle say ? ' 

* I don't know what he said ; it wasn't much I think, 
but I know how he looked.' 

* And he can look,' CharHe remarked. ' If I could 
only acquire the art of looking like that, I should Hve like 
a prince, or like Larry M*Hale. I don't think the bravest 
dun would have the courage to face me, and if he found 
himself accidentally in the dread presence, his bill would 
change into an humble whine for more custom. Let me 
practise, aunt; lend me your spectacles.' 

* Can you not be serious, you tiresome boy ? ' 

* As if I ever was otherwise,' Charlie said, with an 
aggrieved look. 

* What will your uncle say ? It'll all come on me, I feel 

* It doesn't matter in the least what he says,' snapped 
Flossy irreverently. * Nasty old frump. He ought 
to have been a three-tailed pasha instead of an Irish 

* Flossy ! ' 

* Well, I won't ; there. Only if he teases or bothers you 
about it ' 

' We'll all three elope,' Charlie said, * and go hand in 
hand to seek our fortunes in the great world, and our half 
souls as well, only I am afraid to get yours we should 
have to go to fairy-land.' 



* No, my dear, only to Heaven,' and the brilliant hazel 
eyes were dimmed with a moisture that brought the tender 
womanly shadows to the face of the wilful, careless girl, 
and made Charlie stoop, almost reverently, to kiss the soft 
smooth brow on which the beautiful grey hair lay so 

* Not going to marry Mr. Devereux, after all ? ' said 
one of the members of the scandal meeting that assembled 
once a week at Miss Grinigan's house. * Ah, well, flirts 
must expect what they get. It's a just judgment.' 

*Yes, it's a just judgment,' the doctor's wife said. 

' Between two stools you know ' and the nod said 

much more than the words. * It's barely right that it 
should be so, to my mind. Now that Mr. Devereux has 
opened his eyes, Harry Dillon hardly goes there at all.' 

' Well, really, it's time such scandalous doings were put 
an end to. I never heard of such doings at Ingram till 
that girl came here, with her ugly little face and hair as if 
it had never known a comb. It was bad enough then, 
with her flying about on her pony by herself like mad, 
but now she's never content unless she's two or three 
young men flying too, and it's simply disgusting.' 

* Well, really, I don't see anything wrong in riding,* 
remarked Florence 0' Flaherty, a deluded young woman, 
who had come there with the preposterous idea that she 
was going to sew garments for the poor, and found instead 
that she must pick holes in others as fast as possible, if she 
would be * one of them.' * If it was wrong to ride alone, 
I suppose she found it out, and tries to secure company 
now, to make amends. As to being ugly — the gentlemen 
don't say so, I assure you.' 

* The gentlemen are fools,' said the lawyer's helpmate. 


* Of course I defer to your practical experience,' Flo- 
rence said politely ; * but you must allow there are excep- 
tions. My cousin Fred is a very sensible young mau, 
though a barrister. He met Miss Ingram once, and he 
couldn't tell a single feature in her face, but he I'aved 
about her till his holidays were over.' 

* And that's all he did do, I imagine,' broke in Miss 
Grinigan contemptuously. * To smile and chat for an hour 
to her, to rave, as you say, for a couple more, and then 
to forget her; that's about the extent of what flirts get.' 

* Possibly,' Florence said mischievously ; ' but then as 
it's so much more than other people get, I don't see they 
have much cause to complain ; and for all the gentlemen 
say, just see how they appreciate flirts.' 

Certainly that young woman's cognomen should have 
been Gall and Wormwood, instead of the fine old Irish 
name it was. 

* Not going to marry Charlie Devereux ! ' exclaimed 
Rohan Blennerhasset. * She is a jilt as well as a flirt — as 
heartless as vain. What shallow, superficial butterflies are 
these girls of the period ! ' and he ground his heel on the 
smooth white terrace, as though the girls of the period had 
done him some grievous wrong. 

* They covet every heart that comes to minister to their 
vanity, only that they may have the pleasure of flinging it 
back again. Were I to give that girl the love of my life, 
she would only throw it aside for the next new toy.' 

The logical deduction from which sensible speech 
being that he would not give that girl the love of his 





All the gentlemen, with the exception of the eminent 
lawyer and his host, were out shooting. Constance 
Bouverie was deep in a novel and refased to stir, so Flossy 
ordered her Arab round and ran to dress herself for a ride, 
not in the least troubled that it was to be d la mode the 
school-days, before Lord Ingram had inspired Mrs. Chirrup 
with a wholesome fidgetiness as to the bringing up of the 
future baroness. 

Down she came like a whirlwind, almost on top of Mr. 

* Going out. Miss Ingram ? * 

* Oh, yes ; * and the long lashes drooped, half shyly. 
It was a habit she had, or rather a trick of nature, for she 
had peeped out from under her lids at pretty boys when 
she was a plump five-year-old. ' I couldn't lose such a 
lovely day.' 

^Who can it be that is so impolite as to keep you 
waiting ? * 

* Nobody ; I am going alone.' 

* To ride by yourself? ' 

* Why not ? It wouldn't be in the least astonishing to 
anybody if I set out in a walking-dress to trudge through 
mire, but if I set off in a habit, comfortably elevated out 
of mud and dusty roads, it is quite shocking ; ' and as she 
spoke she mounted, allowing the groom to assist her, Mr. 
Blennerhasset having stopped short in his surprise. Then 


she sat looking saucily down at him, as though to saj, ' K 
you don't choose to help me, I can mount without.' 

* You mustn't go alone. Permit me to accompany you.' 

* With pleasure ; a canter this breezy day will do you 

So it came that Mr. Blennerhasset went riding with 
Miss Ingram. But then you see it was the only way to 
save her from committing an indiscretion, so don't set 
down inconsistency in the list of Bohan Blennerhasset's 

' Gt>od gracious ! ' said Mrs. Chirrup, as she caught 
sight of the pair riding away. * What can she mean ? 
Charlie Devereux and Harry Dillon were bad enough, but 
surely the girl cannot be thinking of trying her hand at 
flirting with Rohan Blennerhasset ? ' 

Mr. Blennerhasset was going away, and Flossy the 
flirt sat before the oval mirror, the two dimpled elbows on 
the table, the two tiny hands under the pointed chin. 
Bound her fell the golden hair, dim and dusk in the dull 
light, but soft and beautiful. 

Groing away; well, what of that? So many had 
come and gone lately at Bosehill, that the heiress had come 
to look upon welcoming and bidding adieu as her normal 
state of existence. Why could she not so regard it ? Why 
should the going of a man who was indifferent to her 
trouble her even for a moment ? 

But was he indifferent, this proud, haughty man, who 
dictated rules of etiquette to duchesses, and contradicted 
Boyal highnesses when they misquoted. If he was, why 
the long rides of the last few days, the thousand nameless 
attentions that had never been given before, the lowered 
tone, the resting glance ? But if not, why was that face, 


shining out dimly from the dark surface, powerless to 
detain him, powerless to extract from him a sign ? 

' He loves heauty, and I am not beautiful ; he worships 
truth and nobleness, and I am poor, and silly, and ignoble, 
and weak; he requires stupendous intellect to meet his, 
even partially and I am a superficial school-girl. How, 
then, should he care for me ? * 

A deep, quiet sigh ended the soliloquy; then she 
lighted the other candles and smnmoned Cerise. 

' Cerise, make me look very nice — ^at least^ as nice as 
you can.' 

' If mademoiselle will only be good enough to keep that 
colour. Ah ! but it is divine.' 

The brush passed softly o^vr the silky hair, and all the 
time a conviction shot athwart that unspoken soliloquy. 

* He does care to be near me ; I don't know why, but I 
feel it. I may not be able to keep this liking, but at least 
I have it now.' 

* Ah ! the colour grows more beautiful,' Cerise exclaimed, 
with a sigh of satisfa^ction. * Mademoiselle pleases me 

Mademoiselle pleased some one else when she swept in 
her girlish beauty, and almost unconscious coquetry, 
through the drawing-room, pausing in her comer. 

* "Would ho come to her ? ' 

Yes, he would and did, and offered his arm to take her 
down to dinner, although my Lady "Woodenhead was the 
lady of highest rank there, and her daughter the next- 
And what was more, he was content to bend over her 
chair, talking nonsense ; he whose utterances decided the 
fate of a nation and the existence of a tax, grew glib and 
eloquent in drawing-room nothings. 


Not nonsense, not nothings, always ; those things that 
bind up the glamour and poetry of a life. Not nonsense, 
not nothings, to Miss Ingram, whose whole soul looked 
out of her listening eyes. Her colour deepened, her eyes 
flashed, till her beauty stood out as a thing positive and 
distinct, not subjective or dependent on the mood of the 
beholder, a.nd Bohan Blennerhasset was fairly bewitched. 
Brilliant repartee succeeded the nonsense that wasn't all 
nonsense ; gay exchanges of wit, in which counters were 
not allowed to pass as current coin, but were mercilessly 
hacked to pieces and flung aside. 

At dinner George Clinton sat at the other side of Miss 
Ingram, and shared in the good things going. He was 
rather pleased at the treat, for his other neighbour was a 
fishy-eyed young woman, albeit she was the eldest daugh- 
ter of the Earl of Woodenhead ; a well-bred young lady, who 
said * yes ' and * no ' at the proper moments, and said * very 
nice,' as a variation to * indeed.' Opposite was languid 
Constance Bouvorie, who was not fishy-eyed despite her 
languor, but who did not consider Harry Dillon's claims 
to eligibility sufficiently important to interfere with her 
apathy. Lower down near the frigid Countess was a fast 
young lady, whose name had somehow crept into Mrs. 
Chirrup's list of invitations, a young lady who talked 
herself red in the face, and bawled at her neighbour as if 
he were deaf. Beyond that nothing particular could be laid 
to her charge ; but yet the fact remained that she was fast, 
and that everything she did and said was of that nature. 
It seemed as though some subtle influence emanated from 
her being, and coloured in her what was colourless in 

A political debate had few charms for George Clinton, 


and he followed the ladies almost immediatelj, accompa- 
nied by Charlie Deyereux, gay, debonnaire as ever, under 
the great big shadow of his nncle's wrath. The two gentle- 
men effected a reyolntion in the drawing-room. Sleepy 
eyes grew bright; one yonng lady kindly drowned the 
conversation by a wonderful composition of Thalberg's, 
which she told them afterwards was ' Home, sweet Home.' 
Charlie Deverenx tried his hand at teasing the Earl's 
daughter out of her stiff propriety, but, finding it a hope- 
less task, devoted himself to improving Miss Howard. 
The dowagers were still grouped together; and Greorge 
Clinton talked poetry, literature, travels, art, people, to 
Miss Ingram. Greorge Clinton talked all these well, but 
people best of all. He knew everybody, and he had just 
enough cynicism to be spicy. 

He was in the midst of a graphic humorous account of 
his journey across the desert, when Rohan Blennerhasset 
came in. Miss Ingram looked quickly towards him to see 
if he were coming. He glanced at her and her companion, 
passed them, and sat down at the other end of the room. 
The angry blood rushed through the girl's veins like fire. 

^ Does he imagine that I am going to mope the best 
part of the evening for the sake of a -few minutes' conver- 
sation with him ? ' 

If he had been foolish enough to imagine anything of 
the kind, he must have owned to have made a grand 
mistake. Never was Miss Ingram more bewitchingly 
brilliant, more provokingly pretty, more defiantly happy. 

* I have no power to move her ; what a fool I was to 
think I had,' Bohan Blennerhasset murmured, as he 
turned away, and pushed aside the curtains to study the 


stars. * Not only frivolous, bnt heartless, incapable of any 
higher pleasure than that of the butterfly.' 

* What a horrid-tempered creature I am ! ' Flossy mut- 
tered to herself, looking askant at the window. *If he 
would speak ! ' and all the time gay sallies were being 
hurled at her by each one of the little circle that had 
gathered round, and she was obliged to take them up and 
throw them back. By-and-by the good fit passed away, 
and resentment filled her mind. * He gives me nothing — 
nothing, and he expects that I will give everything. But 
I won't ; and what is more, I shall let him see I can do 
without what I cannot get. I am not altogether the spoilt 
baby to keep crjmg for what is held beyond my reach.' 

The groups broke up at last, and Mr. Blennerhasset 
approached Miss Ingram for the first time since dinner. 

* This is the last night I shall spend at Rosehill, for some 
time at least. Will you favour me with that old ballad 
again ? That is, unless you are fatigued.' 

* I am not easily tired when the exertion is a pleasure,' 
she said coldly. The coldness vanished, a coquettish 
smile rippled over the childish face, as George Clinton 
hurried back to her side. 

' Miss Ingram, may I request " Love's request " ? * 

* With pleasure ; * and she took his arm to go to the 
piano. The operatic air was sung without a quiver in the 
clear, pure voice. It died away; a few chords echoed 
softly ; then a sweet, low melody floated through the room. 
That too died away, and Flossy rose from the instrument. 

* Thank you. Miss Ingram. I thought you had forgotten 

She looked up with the old shy look, but did not speak. 
She wished to do so, but something held her back — pride 



or temper, she could not tell which. In the prond reserve 
of the woman who had felt herself aggrieved, he saw only 
the whim of the coquette, the caprice that gave smiles and 
frowns according to fancy. 

Again he stood by the window watching the stars, and 
Flossy watched his troubled face with a dreary humiliation, 
dashed queerly enough with a feeling of exultation. 

* He does care about me,' she thought sadly ; * but he 
sees that I am not worthy to bear his name. I was not 
content with letting him see my frivolity; I must also 
show that I am obstinate and pig-headed.' 

He went away the next day, and as the firm, strong 
hand clasped hers for a moment, she knew that the man's 
heart looked out from the troubled eyes, but she knew also 
that he would not ask her to be his wife. She knew that 
she had been weighed and found wanting. 

The strangely cold, sweet smile with which she had 
uttered her careless cm revoi/r, faded away almost into a 
loathing indifference as Mr. Clinton addressed her with 
his gay raillery. She muttered something about her s^od- 
mother wanting her, and rushed upstairs to her own room, 
locking herself in. 

* Why, why was I not made good and clever ? * she 
demanded passionately ; * or else formed to be content with 
the favour of such as do not require those qualities in a 
woman ? I wanted that man's friendship and liking, but I 
had not the courage to give up all the little pleasures of 
my life for the mere chance of it. I was not noble or great 
enough to be capable of that; I was petty and paltry. 
Why, then, cannot I be content with being paltry, without 
aspiring after higher things ? ' 




No wonder she shonld be a butterfly in such a butterfly 
existence. Biding, boating, playing croquet on the lawn, 
charming every gentleman who came across her path in 
a manner perfectly distracting to handsome girls, alluring 
as if by some subtle spell men of intellect to talk to her, 
and pet her, and spoil her, and defer to her whimsical 
ideas, in a way that drove clever and accomplished women 
crazy with disgust and envy, and not a little confusion at 
the incomprehensibility of the thing. And now was to 
come the crowning joy of all — she was to be presented at 
the sham Court, and to enjoy a season in Dublin, when 
Dublin was the wittiest capital in Europe ; to have the 
freedom of a society that boasted the greatest refinement, 
combined with an ease and social liberty not to be met with 
in conjunction elsewhere: a society in which the very 
rarest and richest triumphs of intellect were scattered with 
the lavish profusion characteristic of the nation : a society 
which oflered both stimxdant and satisfaction to the very 
highest desires of its members. 

Life was very bright to the young girl. True, Blen- 
nerhasset had measured her by his high standard of female 
excellence, and had found her come short of it ; true, too, 
that his opinion was of great importance to the seemingly 
careless girl. But the opportunity was still before her to 
improve ; Bohan Blennerhasset was still open to be won. 

It was a very brilliant season. A new Lord-Lieutenant 
was come, and he was about to inaugurate his reign by a 

160 nrasAM place. 

series of festivities tliat shonld completely dazzle Bach of 
the Irish as it was not needfnl to exterminate. 

Do people who talk abont the emptiness of the pleasares 
of the world, ever think of what it is to a highlj-gifted 
young girl, nobly bom and richly endowed, to enter for the 
first time into socieiy, to mingle freely with those whose 
names have been honsehold words in her qoiet home ; men 
and women whose genins was a thing for the great world 
of rank and &shion and wealth to bow down to, and 
to hnmonr, to serve, to minister to? Snch as cannot 
comprehend the pleasures, are capable of prating abont 
fools of fashion and empty-headed weathercocks; but I 
maintain that of all enjoyments nnder the category of 
earthly, there is none to equal the intoxicating delight of 
an interchange of sentiments, serious, droll, grand, or 
ludicrous, between minds of a high order. It was delicious, 
bewildering, enchanting, that first rich draught from life's 
cup of nectar. No wonder that the girl should drink 
deeply, no wonder that her brain should whirl, her head 

Queen of the revels was Miss Ingram, Baroness to be ; 
and in her mimic court she numbered the noblest of the 
land, as well as the moustached and perfumed inanities 
who allowed that * that girl coxdd waltz with a fellah,' and 
the needier but equally well-dressed and well-bred snobs, 
who appreciated her superb dowry and high rank. The 
most rigidly exclusive coteries were open to Lord Ingram's 
heiress ; courtly old gentlemen and stiffly correct old ladies, 
who woxdd have closed their salons for ever to a mere 
beiress, or a ^t young beauty, permitted her to enter, and 
jbftving done that had nothing for it but to submit to be 


Was Miss Ingram spoiled by all tMs adulation? 
Scarcely. Careless, frolicsome, childish as she was, she 
had a marvellously just conception of her admirers' claims 
to consideration ; a method of classifying them in her own 
mind, that Rohan Blennerhasset would never have given 
such a well-dressed belle credit for, that would have been 
no disgrace to many a cleverer woman. "With an instinct 
that was like inspiration, she knew exactly how much of 
aU this grateful incense was due to her powers of amusing, 
her flirting propensities, her rank, her purse, and how 
much to herself, and she knew the exact proportion to 
credit each one with. But do not imagine that this keen 
perception troubled her. She accepted what each one was 
willing to give without asking what they did not offer, 
what, perhaps, they were not capable of giving. She ex- 
changed merry repartee and sparkling rejoinders with 
people whom she knew would never have discovered her 
intellect had it not been backed by her gold. Nor was 
her amusement the less keen fix>m the fact that it was 
furnished by people who would not bestow a glance or 
thought on her were her lot cast in a humbler sphere. 

After all, which is the wisest— the scowling cynic who 
refuses hon camaraderie offered in all good faith because it 
does not conceal something deeper, who rails at those who 
proffer passing courtesy because they do not give their 
warmest friendship to people who would be very much 
bored at the idea of having to give anything of the sort in 
return; or this young lady, who took the world as she found 
it, and was content to repay pleasant attention, and super- 
ficial but decidedly agreeable geniality in kind, without 
asking for more ? Which displayed the truest philosophy ? 

TOL, I. M 





All her life liad been misery and 'wretchedness, all her 
days had been clouded by the sin of others, and at last had 
come the dreaded evil, the terrible end, that she knew 
must come, sooner or later. 

Now that the smallest chance of a struggle was over, a 
strange calm had come over the vagrant from the Thieves' 
Latin. It was a calm, not of peace, but of listless apathy. 
Almost without fear she watched the days go by, and won- 
dered in a dull, dreamy sort of way whether they would 
hang her, or only transport her. To be hanged ! To have 
Heaven's grandest gift strangled out of her by the hang- 
man, before a gazing throng of pitiless, curious eyes — ^her 
l?lood curdled, and yet it would be sooner over. 

Sooner over ? Yes, that was all she looked forward to, 
if she looked forward at all — to have it all over. Her life 
had been so very wretched always, always. She had never 
known any pleasure ; and it would be so well to be at rest, 
where no one would ever chase her again. 

The day had come, the assizes were already commenced, 
and her case stood second on the list. 

Perfectly still, not even now roused from the stupor 
that had come upon her, she stood in the court-room till 
she was summoned. Then she went in, wondering queerly 
why she was not afraid of the gaping eyes, the buzzing 
voices, the stem frowns of the righteous of the earth ; 
wondering why it was that she did not seem to hear or to 
heed anything. 


Sucli a poor, pinclied, pale face ; such a weak, wasted- 
looking form ; not a bit like a sturdy burglar, still less like 
one of the flash females of the swell mob, with the untidy 
brown hair twisted back, and the ragged gown, ragged in 
spite of many a rent sewn up. Murmurs of surprise and 
incredulity went through the court that that miserable 
girl should be capable of such a daring theft. Carelessly, 
haughtily sweeping over the faces of the throng, Lord 
Ingram's glance passed his niece, where she sat surrounded 
by her tiny court, not listening to their blandishments that 
seemed to jar and revolt her in this place, but looking 
pityingly at the child criminal with the old worn woman's 
fece, passed the well-dressed crowd, the learned lawyers, 
and rested on the prisoner. The eyes of the vagrant 
looked into those of the peer, and there was a something 
in the pale, wistful face that stirred up in Lord Ingram 
vague recollections of having seen it before. Those sad 
eyes, riveted on his with a curious, earnest scrutiny, 
troubled him with their mournful intentness, and involun- 
tarily he continued gazing. 

To her there were no vague recollections. Every cir- 
cumstance, even of that meeting by theriver.side,was stamped 
indelibly on her memory. Clearly as if it had occurred that 
morning came the remembrance of her strange unaccount- 
able yearning for she knew not what, her vague desire to 
speak even a word to the stranger who glanced over her 
with such haughty indifference. Now as then, now as 
when she watched from behind the laurels, came the inex- 
pressible longing to know something, to do something ; but 
what the something was she was unable to tell. 

With a novel interest Lord Ingram listened for the 
girl's answer when she was asked what she would plead. 

M 2 



There was a pause of a few seconds ; then it came. A thrill 
almost like a shiver passed through the judge's firame, 
as the childish voice rang out, clear and shrill, 

* Guilty ! ' 

Guiliy ! Yes, of course she was guiliy. Was not the 
very look of her enough to condemn her before any decent 
jury, with her tatterdemalion clothes and poverty-stricken 
face, and miserable, hopeless, hapless look, that said as 
plain as plain could be, ' All my life has been wretched- 
ness ? ' What need to enquire further ? 

There was no need for the wonderfally sharp cross-ex- 
amination prepared by Mr. Clincher for the confounding 
of this hardened criminal ; no need for the incontrovertible 
evidence that Bohan Blennerhasset for the first time felt 
loth to give. He was somehow troubled by the uncon- 
scious reproach of the girl's wretchedness. It suddenly 
seemed to him such a bitter satire on common sense, this 
eloquent speech of the counsel for the prosecution, showing 
the depravity of this girl, who had had the chance of earn- 
ing an honest livelihood with a kind, confiding mistress, 
who might have been honest and would not. A harsh, 
mocking laugh rang through the crowded court-house at> 
the words — ^a laugh that made the blood curdle with its 
malignant meaning ; but none could tell whence it came. 

* Have you anything to say why I should not pass sen- 
tence upon you.' 

She looked up, wondering why he should ask her that, 
then shook her head slowly. 

*No}ihing to say why I should not sentence you to 
transportation ? ' 

All the eager, curious, prying eyes, all the portentous 
big-wigged, long-robed barristers faded fix)m her view. 


She only saw the thin hanghty face, the keen bine eyes — 
not so blue just now — and, mentally ignoring the judicial 
wig, the iron-grey locks that the river breeze had fanned a 
year ago. 

* No, sir ; only I'm very glad it's all over.' 

* Have you no regret to express for what you have 
done ? ' 

*N— o.' 

* Why didn't you try to lead an honest life ? ' 

* I couldn't, it was no use ; Jenny could, but I couldn't. 
I was no good.' 

She spoke in a tone of abject humiliation, yet not of 

'Would you be honest now if anyone were to try 
you ? * 

She shook her head slowly, hopelessly. 

* No.' 

* No ! Don't you think it is very wicked to steal ? ' 

* I don't know.' 

* You did not commit that theft from yourself ? ' 
She was silent. 

* You are very youlig. Name your confederates ; point 
but those who made you their tool ; and what mercy may 
be shown I will show.' 

She could have cleared herself. She could have accused 
her father, and proved his guilt. She could have directed 
the officers of the law to his lair, where a part of the booty 
yet remained. She could have shown them the Jew to 
whom the other portion had been sold. She could do this, 
but would she ? 

She clasped her thin, weak hands tightly together, and 
her lips moved. 


* Jenny wouldn't tell, never. I won't.* 

* What do you say ? ' 

Again came the slow shake of the head. 

*But you can save yourself. Think of seven years' 
hard labour.* 

No, she would not think of it. Ignorant, untaught as 
she was, she would cling to this one grand idea. She had 
not courage to do as Jenny did, but she would suffer as 
Jenny might suffer. Jenny never could turn informer to 
eave her life, and in that she would follow in Jenny's foot- 

* I won't tell. Jenny wouldn't.' 

* Who is Jenny ? * 

* She ran away to b6 honest. You see, she was brave, 
and Oh, so good ; but I was no good.' 

A man was pressing forward from the body of the hall, 
and Lord Ingram watched him fixedly, while he shoved 
cai'eless persons out of the way and cowed bullies with a 
superior insolence, and elbowed officers with an air of 
business-like coolness that defied any violent interruption, 
and by sheer force of audacity made his way to the witness- 
box in less time than it would have taken another to think 
about it. 

He was a tall grizzled man, with a coarse frieze coat, 
that would have been respectable on anybody else. Tangled 
matted hair was pushed back from a high forehead, seamed 
and wrinkled, and two coal-black eyes burnt with unholy 
light in their hollow sockets. 

* You ask her why she stole, my lord, and why she will 
not be honest. I tell you it is no more possible for her to 
reform than for her to become an angel. She had a 


chance to be honest, did you say, sir ? ' — and he turned 
his derisive gaze on the learned counsel — *Sure, she 
had, a fine one. She was sent to live for the first 
time in her life with people who hadn't to prey openly on 
one another to make a living, with all the habits and 
necessities of her former life strong upon her. She, a thief 
by profession from her childhood, bred the daughter of a 
thief, went straight out of the squalor of the Thieves' Latin 
to become honest. And you wonder that the excellent plan 
failed, that this thief of years and education did not fiing 
off by some sudden magic her very nature, her second self. 
O, sir, and my lord, she had a very good chance, had she 
not ? But I tell you you might give her fifty such chanced 
and she would not profit by them. I tell you that this girl 
has been brought up a thief ; I tell you there is no hope for 
her, and she cannot help herself. She could not be honest 
if she would, she would not if she could.' 

* Is that all you have come to say ? ' demanded the 
judge, leaning forward. *Have you no evidence to give 
that may help your daughter ? ' 

* My daughter ! ' and the ringing voice of the tramp 
wakened every echo of the vast building. * No, my lord, I 
have not come to talk about my daughter. She only stole 
once ; only once, as I am a living man, and that was to 
help a comrade out of trouble ; but that was eleven years 
ago, and she is with the damned now, whether in this 
world or the other ; for she was a convict's daughter, and 
the argument ran that she had bad blood in her and 
couldn't be good. But I did not come to speak of my 
daughter, but of yours. Lord Ingram.' 

A stupor came over the judge, but his glazed eyes never 
flitted &om his persecutor* There was a deathflike silence 


then the voice of the tramp rang out again, clear, distinct 
as tlie voice of a fate, 

' Yes, look all of you, and look well, for you don't see 
such a sight every day. That girl, well known to the 
police, proved guilty of robbing the credulous lady whp 
trusted her, is Kate, only child of Ealph, Lord Ingram, of 
Ingram Place. Kate Ingram, Baroness that is to be. She 
is only fourteen, and she confesses to a crime that would 
not disgrace an old hand. The heiress of Ingram will be 
of age when her term of transportation is ended.' 

Horror, agony, fear, struggled in the countenance of the 
nobleman. With an abhorrent glance he put his hand to 
his eyes. 

* It is false,' he said hoarsely ; * that girl is not my 

* I always make my word good,' said the tramp with a 
sternly significant smile. * If I could not have proved that 
yon offscouring of the Thieves' Latin were your daughter, 
would I have hunted her down as I have done ? I can 
show the clothes she wore when she was missing ; I can 
show the crop of golden curls shorn from her head ; ay, 
and I can give better proof than that when the time 
comes. It wasn't only for my own benefit that I made 
the experiment that has been so successful, I wanted you, 
my lord, to learn the galling truth that it isn't in the blood 
always, that your daughter, when properly trained and 
tempted, makes as handy a shoplifter, as incorrigible a 
criminal, as mine would have made if I hadn't put her up, 
like an idol, oufc of harm's way. Her tongue is as glib at 
a lie as if she was the child of a tramp instead of a lord, 
and she will profit by seven years at the convict station 
equally well. I promise you that.' 


There were no more cases that day; the judge had 
fallen back rigid and senseless. Once the prisoner at- 
tempted to speak, but a single glance from the lurid 
eyes stopped her. After that she made no sign, but stood 
with her head bent, her hands folded; only a pitiful 
longing to comfort that poor old man, who was so stricken 
with shame, disturbing her apathetic indifference. 



* It's all a trick, depend upon it. Flossy ; it's all a trick.' 

Miss Ingram looked up at Charlie Devereux, who bent 
over to remove any little uneasiness she might feel. 

* Do you think so, Charlie ? ' she said very quietly, 
scarcely interrogatively. 

^I don't think anything at all about it. It's a 
ridiculous imposture that no one could give credence to 
for a moment.' 

She made no answer, except to assent when Charlie 
proposed that they should sit still until the crush had 
cleared away. She sat very still, looking intensely down 
at the dock, where crouched and cowered that ragged girl. 
Though her face was without the rose gleam her gaze was 
calm and steadfast, yet her ears were dull and deaf to the 
buzz going on around her. Mr. Clinton and Harry Dillon 
and CharHe formed a knot, and raised a great noise, that 
could not be called a discussion, since it consisted al- 


170 Ingram plaou* 

together of denunciations of the bare-faced effrontery of 
that ill-looking man. She did not hear them, though it 
was all for her express benefit, until Mr. Clinton appealed 
more immediately to her. ' 

•Why I declare, Devereux, if here is not La Petite 
Reine looking as serious as if she were going to be dethroned* 
Permit me to assure your small majesty that there is nd 
fear of this usurper gaining a footing ; if even she could 
by any impossible possibility do that, we could never 
transfer our allegiance, we could never acknowledge any 
sovereign but " the queen Rose of the Rosebuds." * 

* No, Mr. Clinton ? * and she smiled up at him, only 
still with that xmusual quiet. * I shall not contradict you, 
because it would not be polite, but my opinions incline to the 
time-honoured custom, " Le Roi est mort, vive Le Roi." ' 

* Ah, with the coarser sex.' 

* Believe me. La Reine seldom fares better than Le Roi.' 

* Don't you believe in chivalry ? ' 

* When you are present, certainly.' 

* What an improving effect I have on your morals. 
But really. Miss Ingram, you look quite serious. You do 
not for a moment imagine that that absurd story is true ? 
You could not possibly let it annoy you, even for a 
moment ? ' 

* Annoy me ? Why should it annoy me ? ' sha 
said, looking up searchingly with those shining eyes. 
' Even suppose it to be true, should I not still be Beatrice 
Ligram? Should I not still preserve intact the revered 
memory of my parents, should I not still possess my name, 
and, above all, myself? Would not my intrinsic value 
be precisely the same as when I was the heiress of 
Ingram ? ' 


* When you ivere ! ' interrupted Charlie impetuously. 
* There is no were or was about the thing. I won't have 
you talk so. Look here, Blennerhasset, did you ever see 
such a ridiculous girl ? ' 

*0h, it's no use asking Mr. Blennerhasset,' she said 
lightly, as she discovered that Mr. Blennerhasset had 
joined the group. * He thinks all girls equally ridiculous ; 
and they are too insignificant a pai*t of creation to demand 
the exercise of discrimination.' 

Her tone of levity puzzled and jarred upon Blenner- 
hasset, and he knitted his brows ominously. 

* It's too bad, isn't it ? ' Harry Dillon said indignantly. 
*That fellow ought to be well punished. And he will 
be, I suppose ; won't he ? * 

* I don't know.' 

* Well, I know,' said Charlie ; * for I mean to give him 
a splendid thrashing.' 

* You will have to find him first, though,' Mr. Blenner- 
hasset said. 

* Why should you talk like that, Charlie ? If the man 
speaks truth, he has as much right to talk as you or li 
You surely would not thrash him because he's poor.' 

* No, little cousin, only for insolence.' 

' Leave him to the law,' said Bohan Blennerhasset. 

* I think we might venture down now, Charlie,' Miss 
Ingram said, rising, and smiling her thanks to Harry 
Dillon as he hurried to see if the carriage was there. Then 
she cast a parting glance at that shivering, ill- clad figure, 
and shivered herself. Instead of gay answers to Mr. 
Clinton's raiUery she would fain have said, *Poor thing, 
how miserable her life must have been ! ' but she repressed 
the inclination, and by the time they had got downstairs 


172 INGfiAlC PLACE. 

Mr. Clinton flattered himself that he had effectnaU j driven 
every trace of anxiety away. 

As soon as she reached home her first enquiry was for 
her nncle. He had shut himself np, and desired no one to 
come to him till he shonld ring, not even the doctor. Mrs. 
ChLrrup, who, of conr^, had accompanied her god-child to 
town, was in a fever of anxiety to hear the particulars of 
the eselandre that was flying about. Miss Ingram told her 
what she knew, and then escaped. 

Safely locked in from the intrusive abigaQ, the young 
girl sat down to think. Could it be true, this story ? Could 
that poor ignorant girl be her cousin, the daughter of her 
uncle, the heiress to his title and estates ? She remem- 
bered that a tiny shoe with a blue rosette was all that was 
found of the little Kate Ingram, that that was the only 
proof they ever had had of her death. Might it be, then, 
that Lord Ingram had found a daughter and she a cousin 
in this outcast ? 

If so, what a change would it make iil her prospects. 
Ah ! it was all very well for her to make a philosophic 
speech to repel Mr. Clinton's slightly irritating kindness, 
and to excite his admiration, while perplexing Mr. Blenner- 
hasset. But no one knew better than did that gay, appa- 
rently careless girl, the exact value of the paper currency 
used in society. No one understood more thoroughly than 
she that though Miss Ingram, Baroness to be and heiress 
of Ingram, and Miss Ingram, of nowhere, and nothing to 
be, except what she might secure by a fortunate marriage, 
might be one and the same person in her eyes, they would 
be two very different and totally distinct beings, not only 
to Mrs. Grundy — she could have snapped her fingers at 
Mrs. Grundy — but to all those charming people, whether 


distinguished foir their politeness, their intellect, their good 
breeding, or their chivalrons attention, found in Mrs. 
Grundy's wake. 

*What a mean-spirited, poor creature to care for the 
opinion of such people ! ' the high and mighty stoics will 
exclaim. * What a fool to value the tribute that was paid 
only to her wealth and rank ! ' the cynics will cry. But, 
alas and alas ! Miss Ingram was no philosopher ; she did 
not even aspire to be that terrible thing, a clever woman. 
She was only a warm, not too soft-hearted girl, endowed 
with a frank, impetuous nature, not altogether animal or 
sensual, a nature that craved for enjoyments of a certain 
kind, amongst which social pleasures ranked supreme, yet 
that could extract happiness from all. And, then, it was 
not the opinion of these people she cared about : it was the 
pleasure they afforded her that she conld not bear to think 
of losing. Shut up in a woodland cottage for any given 
period of time, only looking forward to getting out again, 
she could be happy as the birds on the tree when they 
almost burst their little throats with glee. She could have 
extracted delight from the trees, the river, the tiny flowers, 
the massive mountain rocks even, though she owned nor 
tree, nor river, nor flower. But shut up in that woodland 
cottage for life, with no outlet in view, no prospect of 
again mingling in the busy stream of life, of again dabbling 
in the great tide of human intellect, she felt that the birds 
would be mute, the flowers colourless, the sunlight dark- 
ness, that life would not be life to her. 

She only interrupted her reverie, to enquire if her uncle, 
would see her. She wanted to go and comfort him some- 
how, but she could not tell how. The answer was always ; 
that his lordship would rather not see anyone at present, 



and from the thought of the peer, stricken in his chamber, 
her thoughts travelled more distinctly to the image that 
had been present with her while her thoughts about herself 
were most vivid. Was that prisoner Kate Ingram ? K so, 
she was in a cell, herded, perhaps, with convicts of the 
worst description — ^bad herself it might h% but not likely 
to be improved by intercourse with them. Bad ? Possibly. 
She looked poor and wretched enough to be anything, and 
Miss Ingram's heart was full of pity for the abject-looking 
thing. Since she could be of no use to her uncle, she thought 
she would like to see this girl. The thought became a wish, 
and she only paused in its gratification from a fear of doing 
wrong. And yet, what harm could it be to see how she 
was lodged ? If she were an impostor, it would be no harm 
to render even for a little time her lot less pitiful, less 
revolting ; while if she were not, then it was not fitting that 
Kate Ingram should be left even for an hour uncared for. 

Mrs. Chirrup could see no just reason why she should 
not do what she was so evidently bent on doing. She only 
begged her to take somebody with her — a concession ta 
propriety flatly refused by the young lady. She would go 
alone or not at all, and as usual she had her own way. 

Just as the carriage rolled away, Mr. Clinton and 
Kohan Blennerhasset called at Merrion Square. Mrs. 
Chirrup received them, mentioning incidentally that Miss 
Ingram was gone out. The two gentlemen went away 

* I hardly thought she would have had the pluck to go 
but, after this morning,' said Clinton, twirling his moustache 
and cane simultaneously. * I really thought this morning 
she took it seriously.' 
. ' Did you ? ' 


• * Yes; didn't you?' 

* Well, I don't know whether I thought about it at all. 
If I did, I scarcely credited Miss Ingram with seriousness.' 

I wonder would he have credited her with seriousness 
if he could have looked into that gloomy prison. 

' Why — ^Yes ! Isn't that the Ingram coat of arms ? ' 
Mr. Clinton exclaimed, pointing to a carriage before the 
gates of the gaol, bnt which moved away as he spoke. 

* Yes,' said Mr. Blennerhasset, suddenly awakened to 
interest ; * and it is empty.' 

* I did not imagine Lord Ingram would have taken any 
notice of that fellow's effrontery,' Mr. Clinton said, much 
puzzled ; * much less come here this afternoon.' 

* Lord Ingram is in his room, with the door locked ; he 
answers his servant's enquiries, but sees no one ;' and Mr, 
Blennerhasset'^ eagle eyes scanned the prison walls as if 
they would pierce them. 

It was a pity they could not, bnt so it was ; and he 
passed on, forming his own conclusions, clever man that he 
was; not jumping at them in that insane feminine way, you 
know, but reasoning them out, bit by bit, and of course 
arriving at the most correct ones. How should it be 
otherwise ? 

* She is thoroughly appalled by the prospect before her,' 
he mused ; * and she cannot rest till she discovers whether 
she has a genuine impostor to confront and fight, or not. 
Will she dispute her position if it comes to the push ? Of 
course she will ; it is all in all with her ; it is life, breath, 
to that butterfly, that brilliant, beautiful, but utterly and 
essentially frivolous girl.' 

He was a man of sense, you - see, and reasoned out his 
conclusions like a man. 


It was a cold, dank, dreary day, inexpressibly depressing 
everywhere, absolutely heavy, weighted with the blues, or 
electric fluid — I leave it to philosophers and ladies to fight 
it out between them as to which it is. Scarcely a ray of 
light penetrated into that cold flagged hall, with its heavy 
barred windows, its low roof, its tables fixed firmly to the 
floor, where Miss Ingram is permitted to see the prisoner 
No. 37. On one of the immovable benches, her bright 
dress trailing on the ground like a glimpse of day, her 
soft golden hair falling like stray sunbeams, is Miss Ingram. 
She is charmingly dressed, because it is natural as well as 
habitual to her to be so, and aristocrat is written indelibly 
on every line of her irregular but delicate features. A 
look of intense eagerness is in her eyes, as she surveys the 
figure standing before her. . 

What a contrast ! The one resplendent in all the glory 
of the first blush of womanhood, of wealth, of rank, and 
refinement; the other thin, pinched, meagre of outline, 
almost devoid of colouring, a formless mass of coarse, ill- 
shapen clothing, squalid and dirty, dragged hither and 
thither to conceal a rent, with nothing human or girlish 
about it, save the wistful eyes that looked out from undei* 
the matted hair. 

Like the memory of a dream came to Miss Ingram the 
remembrance of having seen that thin face before Lizzie's 

*Did I not see you somewhere before yon came to 
Ingram ? ' 

* Yes,' No. 37 answered readily ; * you were with that 
gentleman on the Thieves' Latin, long ago.* 

* What gentleman ? ' 

' Lord Ingram/ the prisoner said, with the sad intona* 


tion peculiar to her ; * it's Lord Ingram I think the servants 
told me.* ' 

* Did you know him before you came to Ingram P * 

* Never saw him before ? * 

Number Thirty-seven shook her head, and a faint smile 
crept over the face that was so old. 

* It's dreams I used to have, maybe ; I used to think 
I'd seen a face like his once somewhere.' 

* Where ? ' 

The girl passed her hand painfully across her forehead. 

* No, it's only the dreams. It couldn't be nothing else, 
you know.' 

* Try and remember your dreams.' 

* I can't. I used to try long ago. I don't know why, 
but I did, and I couldn't. I used to want to dream it over 
again, but I never could anyhow.* 

'Dream it? What?' 

* I don'no. Sure, maybe I only thought I dreamt.* 

A helpless, struggling, far-away look came into the 
girl's eyes as she spoke of those dreams, whose shadow 
had been so precious to her, of which she had never spoken 
before, perhaps never given tangible shape. And now, the 
more she tried to do so the more dim and fantasticaUy 
unreal did they become. Deeper and more earnest became 
Miss Ingram's glance, till the girl came back to the present^ 
and to a wonder as to why this beautiful lady looked at her 
so intently, so searchingly, whose gaze as she looked be- 
came wonderfully, oh, yes, so wonderfully pitying and sad. 
Very wonderful was that look to the outcast, and she 
looked wistfully into the grave deep eyes till Miss Ingram 
felt them fill with tears. Mutely wondering at it all, the 

YOL. u N 



girl listened to the voice filled with a rare, sweet mnjsic, 
•atterly unconscioiis that it was her own misery and patient, 
hopeless sadness that had evoked that wondrous melody. 

* Tour Hfe has been very nnhappy ? ' 

Number Thirty- seven nodded. That was no news, but 
she was not used to hear people speak of or notice it, except 
when the policeman flung it into the scale to make some 
trifling offence weight. 

* Tell me something about yourself. I am sorry for 

Had this beautiful lady, who looked like the picture on 
Jenny's box, only a great deal brighter, merely come to 
steal her secret after all ; to made her do what she knew 
Jenny would never do ? A dogged look of suspicion came 
into the vacillating eyes. 

* I can't tell nothing at aU.' 

* I don't want you to tell me anything you don't like,* 
Miss Ingram said very gently ; * but I should like to know 
some things. Did you ever go to school ? ' 


* No ? then you know nothing ?' 

^ Only to steal; ' and again the girl's tone was one of 
abject humiliation — ^not penitence. 

* Poor child, poor child ! ' and the rich music swelled 
through the sweet girlish voice. * Used you go to church ? * 

A sudden flush came over the pale face like a blush of 
life to the dead. 

* Once, ma'am ; I went once.' 

* Only once ? How was that ? ' 

* Jenny and me run away, and they didn't know till we 
wor back.' 

* But how was it you never went again ? * 


The wonder grew in the girl's eyes. 

* It wasn't for the like of me to go to a church, ma'am. 
I was a thief, yon see.' 

* Well, but yon mustn't be that, you know.' 

* I couldn't help it.^ 

* But you will if I help you.' 

' I can't,' the girl said hopelessly ; * it's no good trying.' 
'Why not?' 

*It isn't for such as me to be good or honest ; it's no 
use trying.' 

* Ah ! I know how hard it is for the poor to be good ; 
but you would like to be honest if you could, wouldn't 
you ? ' 

* It's no good trying,' the girl repeated with a strange 


* How was it you went to church that once ? ' 

* Jenny wanted to go, to be like her mother.' 

* Was Jenny a thief ? ' 

* No, no,' Number Thirty-seven said eagerly. * Jenny 
was poor and she never went to school neither ; but she 
was so good, ma'am — oh, so good — and she wasn't afraid 
like me, you see. Sure, there was no one like Jenny for 
bein' brave, and that's how she was so good.' 

* Tell me about her.' 

* She wanted to be good, ma'am, like her mother, you 
know, and she'd ha' made me good too, only I was always 
afeard.' She said she couldn't be respectable in the Thibves' 
Latin, so she ran away ; she was so clever, she got right 
off. She wanted to take me, only I daren't go.' 

. ^Why?' 

, * I never had courage like she had ; I was no good at 
all at all.' 

N 2 



' WiiH til at tho little girl that spoke to me wlien I 
of lured her money ? ' 

* YoH, ma'am. She was prond, sure, and it's herself had 
flio bi^ heart.' 

Tjike a flanh of lightning came that pictnre of the 
(l(;fiant elf waving back right royally the stranger^s 

* She called you a lady, I think ; why was that ? * 

A faint smile flickered over the pale face that was 
ali'eady fading back into its former dulness. 

' It was iMicauHe she was so fond of me, ma'am; she 
WMH HO good to me always, and she used to beat the other 
girls when they beat me. She's gone now, you see, and 
that's how I've got so bad.' 

* You are very cold here ? ' and the lady looked ronnd 
with a sliivcr. The girl looked blue from head to foot, bnt 
she merely answered, 

' Sometimes.' 

* I shall ask tho governor to let you have a better place, 
and some warm blankets ; and I shall come and see yon 
again. What is your name P ' 

* Kate.' 

* Kate ? ' 

* Yes, ma'am.' 

* Do you fe(?l very sad here ? ' 

< N — o ; not more than always.' 

* Wore you as miserable before you came here P ' 

* Yes, worse, for the dread was on me ; now I'm a'most 
glad it's nearly over.' 

It was pitifal — Oh ! it was pitiful. She was only fonr^ 
teen, and she looked twenty-four. She was only foorteeiii 
and her only hope was for it to be all over. 


* I would be delighted to serve yon, Miss Ingram,' the 
governor said, * but ' 

*But to oblige me you would strain a point,' Miss 
Ingram interrupted, with one of her sweetest smiles. 

' Oh, certainly ; but, pardon me, after this morning I 
should not have expected any of your fiamily to interfere in 
behalf of such an impostor.' 

The sweet young fiEice impressed him strangely as Miss 
Ingram spoke: 

' She may be an impostor, she may be even much that is 
bad, but at least one &ct remains. She is very wretched — 
all her life has been misery ; there is no imposture in tha^. 
Promise me that you will lighten her burdens as much as 

* I do promise. Miss Ingram,' he said almost reverently, 
as he lifted the covering off his head to the young girl, and 
the covering off his heart to a nameless something he re- 
cognised, though he could not define. 



* Yes, yes, you have had your revenge.' 

Lord Ingram bowed his head yet lower as he spoke, 
until it was hidden in his hands, hidden from the baleful 
glance of that stern, implacable man who stood opposite 
him. A child's shoe lay on the table that separated them, 
and various articles of infant attire ; a white embroidered 
frocky slightly yellowed with age, a few bows for the 


sleeves, a broad blue sash, a pair of tiny socks, and a coral 
necklace. Side by side with these was a series of portraits ; 
the first of a terrified child held in a man's strong grasp. 
So perfectly was the face delineated that, though the 
clothing was ragged and mean, no doubt could remain 
of its being the one that looked out from the enamelled 
portrait of Lord Ingram's lost heiress. The next was one 
taken apparently about a year later, and so on up to the 
present time. The various proofs adduced were incontest- 
able, and the haughty peer knew that in the condemned 
criminal he had found his daughter. In the bitterness of 
his heart he moaned, 

* You have had your revenge.' 

* Had my revenge, Lord Ingram ? No, no, only the 
first instalment, but I will have the rest just as surely. 
Wait, my lord, till your daughter comes back from seven 
years of it — if ever she does come back — and then tell me 
I have had my revenge — ^no, not then, not till she is* 
danmed in hell, beyond all hope of redemption.' 

* Heaven help me ! ' murmured Lord Ingram, bowing 
his head yet lower in his humiliation. 

* I would say " Heaven help my daughter," if I were you. 
Lord Ingram,' said the tramp with bitter scorn, *for, afber 
all, she will have the worst of it. What have you to bear ? 
A few slurs and sneers from a world that can give you 
nothing, a few taunts and reproaches at your boasted 
name, a few laughs at your prejudices of birth and blood ; 
while she — think what she will have to bear. Think how 
every germ of the good that might have been, that may 
linger in her in these tender years, must be eradicated and 
destroyed ; how every feeling that is not already of hell 
must become seared under the daily and hourly branding ; 


lio\r body and soul must become polluted, till she neither 
can nor will associate with any but those who are like 
herself* Think of that, and then pity her rather than 

*Hush! I cannot bear this,' and he writhed as in 
mortal anguish. * Why, oh ! why, did you not kill my 
innocent child ? ' 

' Because I wanted to kill her soul,' was the appalling 
reply. ' Because I wanted her to be like what my daughter 
was ; because I wanted your life to be something of what 
mine is, and see if the blood makes any difference in oui' 

* It does, it does,' cried the aristocrat, rising in that 
hour of supreme anguish. * My misery is greater than 
yours a thousandfold.' 

* Is it ? Oh that I might say " it is true 1 " I could forgive 
you all if my lot were only one shade less bitter than is 
yours to-day. My lord, we are both fathers, we were that on 
the day I lost my girl ; to-day our lot is stUl more alike, we 
are the fathers of outcasts.'. 

Lord Ingram looked from those lurid eyes at the little 
shoe with its blue rosette, fitjm the shoe to the bows, from 
the bows to the broad sash, and in none of them could he 
find a ray of comfort. Suddenly he raised his head with 
something of the old haughty grace. 
' Leave me ; I will see this, girl alone.' 
The tramp left the room, and whispered to a servant — 
' My lord wants Miss Ingram. Did I not hear a cab stop ? ' 
'Miss Beatrice is in her room,' and the well-bred 
lacquey stared in unqualified amazement and disgust at 
this fiery-eyed man, who wore a frieze coat and spoke good 
, English, and was admitted to his master's presence. 


* No, no, I mean Miss Kate Ingram, who was convicted 
of theft this morning. There's the cab.' 

There was something so diabolical in the man's face 
that the inferior wickedness of the menial was awed into 
a humility shaped like goodness. He had of conrse heard 
all the mmonrs of what had happened, and of what hadn't 
happened for that matter, bnt was his lordship really going 
to countenance them ? That was another affair altogether, 
and he looked on, completely dazed, while a policeman 
entered the magnificent, well-lighted hall, ushering in a 
thing like a girl, a thing that passed him by without 
raising its head, and disappeared in the door opened by the 

The wax candles diffused a soft melancholy light in the 
apartment, a light that did not dispel the shadows lurking 
in the comers, ah ! and that could not banish the shadows 
stalking about, filling the room with their ghostly presence, 
yet remaining true to their nature of an intangible unreality. 
The girl looked round with a frightened glance, yet there 
was nothing to alarm, only an old man with his grey head 
bent almost on the table. Why was he so stricken ? Was 
it the thought that she was his daughter that had stricken 
him with premature old age ? So very wretched herself, 
yet not so destitute but that her heart could swell with 
generous pity for one who was even more wretched, her 
whole being thrilled with the passionate desire to comfort 

He raised his head and looked across at the figure 
standing humbly near the door. That — that thing, that 
embodiment of shame and degradation that needed no 
accusation to proclaim it inured to vice, that spiritless^ 
squalidly clad outcast, that polluted waif from the 


stagnant scam of the haunts of crime, that cowering, 
abject thing, that his daughter ? 

Oh, the loathing that filled his soul at that horrid sight ! 
Oh, to feel the inexpressible disgust he felt for that pale, 
low-lived girl, and to be told that she was his daughter ! 

He could not pierce beyond the veil of wretchedness ; 
he could not see beneath the rags the heart that ached to 
comfort him ; he could only see the rags, the squalor, the 
impress of vicious habits, vile associations ; and he looked 
till his eyes became glazed and dull, till the pain they 
caused him made him hide them in his clammy hands. 

Slowly, timidly, she took a step forward ; but he did not 
heed her. Yet another, but he never moved. Then the 
voice that was so childish, in such contrast to the old face, 
floated about the room, blurring the forms of the shadows 
into a something yet more indistinct, with its sweet 
accents moulded to vulgar idioms. 

* If you please, sir, you needn't look so sad. . I'm not 
your daughter.' 

He shook his head sadly rather than angrily as he 
looked up. 

' Sure, sir, it's the truth I'm tellin' you. And what 'd 
be the good of me bein' your daughter? It wouldn't 
make it a bit better for me, I know ; and so will you let me 
go back to the gaol, sir ? It's all over, maybe, and I don't 
want it otherways. I'm nothing to you, sir ; so don't fret 
any more. Only let me go back to the gaol, and think no 
more about me.' 

•How can I ? ' he groaned bitterly. 'I would if I could.' 

He covered his face again, hiding it from the pitying 
heart as he had hidden it from the lurid eyes of the tramp. 

He waa very miserable, and the sight of his misery 



urged the girl on to a bravery slie had never dreamt of 
before, nerved her to a resolution worthy of a heroine. 

* I tell you what I'll do, sir ; I'll run away, and then, 
sure, I can't disgrace you.' 

Do you know what it cost her, this offer to run away ? 
Her whole life had consisted of running away; she had 
spent her days in a perpetual fear of being caught ; her 
nights were endless nightmares of being hunted down. 
This endless chase was the misery of her life. It was the 
thought of that being ' all over ' that enabled her to face 
imprisonment, hard labour, any certainty, however dreadful, 
as a refuge from a haunting dread, terrible from its indefi- 
niteness. And now she proposed to begin again the excru- 
ciating agony, nay, more, to have for her exasperated 
pursuer the one whom she feared most of all. 

* Run away ? ' he repeated mechanically. ' Run away, 
where ? ' 

* Anywhere from here.* 
' From whom ? ' 

* My father.' 

* Your father ? Is that man your father ? ' 
' Yes, sir.' 

Was it, after all, a trick to get the culprit free ? He 
looked with the dawning of a new hope, but even as he looked 
it faded. He turned away with a sigh that might have 
been a groan ; then with a sudden thought he took from 
its hiding-place the little portrait, the treasured picture ot 
the baby girl with the dreamy eyes, with the golden curls, 
with the strange shadow of futurity on the dimpled face. 

* Do you know this ? ' 

She came nearer, close to the table opposite him, and a 


look of interest arose as slie looked at the picture he had 
laid there. 

' Have you seen an3rthing like it before ? ' 

A troubled, far-away look came into her eyes as she 
whispered — 

' I don'no. I think — somewhere ; ' and she passed her 
hand across her forehead in a helpless, struggling way. 

He watched the two faces, the dead and the living, and 
bit by bit their likeness grew upon him. Clothed in rags, 
wrapped in the shame of crime, she bore the shadow on 
the fair face that had dimmed the baby's beauty. Looking 
fetr away into her dreams, the shadow deepened and dark- 
ened, the grey-black eyes filled with tears, that fell like 
heavy rain drops on the colourless cheeks. Almost uncon- 
scious of the present, she wept over the dreams of the 
past quietly, as was her wont, without sob or sigh. And 
so many cry thus quietly over their dead dreams, and the 
great world knows nothing about their grief or its cause. 

For a moment the name of his daughter trembled on 
his tongue. For a moment the words 'My child, Kate, 
little Kate,' hovered on his lips, then he sank back 

* Great Heaven ! how I mourned my daughter ; but this 
finding is so bitter, I would I could mourn her all my life.' 

She never forgot that man's despair. Never. Never 

could that look of loathing leave her sight. 

' I'll go away, sir. Sure, I'll never come back again.* 
He stared at her blankly, scarce comprehending what 

she said. 

* You see, sir, if he hasn't got me he can't plague you 
any more. I'll never come back any more, so don't fret 
about it.' 


188 nrGSAM PLACE. 

* Where will jou go to ? ' 

* I don'no. It's not much matter ; but I won't come 
back, sir ; then you'll be all right.' 

* No, no, it won't do.' 

* Yes,' she said, though her heart Mtered at the pro- 
spect. * I'm so Sony for you, sir, that it*s about me you 
should be vexed. Don't think about me any more. I'm 
nothing to you.' 

Her words sank into his dull ears to be comprehended 
by-and-by, in all their beauty of self-sacrifice and heroic 
bravery. Just now he only heard the sweet voice struggling 
with the coarse accents. He touched a handbell beside 
him, and it was instantly answered by a bewildered 

* Give this to the policeman,' he said, writing a few 
lines, taking upon himself the responsibility of the girl's 
re-appearance. The man took it, and Lord Ingram glanced 
once again at his daughter. Now that he had got her what 
should he do with her ? 

She came slowly out of the comer to which she had 

* Would it get you into trouble, sir, for me to run 
away ? ' 

* It's no use,' he answered drearily. * Where would you 
go to ? What would you do ? ' * 

' Sure, that's nothing at all at all, so as I don't come 

His face was buried in his hands as he pondered what 
he should do with her. Plan after plan flitted before him, 
all equally impossible or unsatisfactory. Should he ask 
Mrs. Chirrup to care for this ignorant girl who was come 
to usurp her godchild's place ? Or should he proclaim to 


the world that the lost heiress was restored ? Or would it 
be any use attempting to disguise, even for a time, what 
might already be patent to everybody ? How long he sat 
thus he could not tell, but when he looked up the room was 
dimmer than it had been. The candles flared and flickered, 
and the ghostly shadows stalked forth &om their hiding- 
places, and flaunted their hideous pageantry before his 
eyes. Was it these shadows, these restless, shapeless, 
unreal yet real phantoms, that prevented him seeing his 
daughter ? 

He called her, but she did not come. He rose with 
something of a fear. The room was untenanted by any- 
thing save himself and those dread shadows, that grew 
into a darker, more oppressive presence each moment. 

* Kate ! ' he whispered in an awe-struck tone. * Elate ! ' 
The shadows only gibbered in answer ; the cold wind 

from the open window struck him on the forehead with a 
damp, chilling touch. The drizzling sleet flew in and 
splashed the rich, warm carpet with a marvellous profanity, 
and hissed and fizzed a stout warfare with the nearest 
sconce of candles, as though it had been no dainty comer 
of a nobleman's mansion, but only the veriest hole that 
human beings might creep into. Again he called, louder 
and yet louder. Again his voice went out tremulously 
into the cold night. 

* Kate, Elate, my daughter ! ' 

The adjuration was powerless now ; it had come too late. 




Miss Ingram waited patiently what she thought a reason- 
able time, then she waited impatiently what she considered 
a very unreasonable time, and still Lord Ingram gave no 
sign of having ended his interview with Number Thirty- 
seven. She hovered between the study door and her own 
apartments, never by any chance going near Mrs. Chirrup, 
who sat alone in the morning-room that opened out of the 

For there was a shadow on the dear little lady's face 
that Miss Ingram did not care to see. Mrs. Chirrup could 
not look placid or cheerful while her darling godchild was 
being thrust out of her heritage by a vagrant. 

* If she had only married Charlie,' she murmured ; * he 
has enough for both. What will it all come to ? ^ 

The enquiry was addressed to her clicking friend, which 
she had brought from Ingram. 

* Can't tell you, can't tell you,' chirped the clock. 

* And what good are you if you can't ? ' said Mrs. 
Chirrup, bridling up. * What use are you ? ' 

' Will tell you, will tell you,' said the clock ; and Mrs. 
Chirrup felt that the pendulum was going gravely and 
solemnly, though it went in just the same time to and 

* Ah ! now you are sensible.' 

* Trouble, trouble, much trouble, great trouble,' wailed 
the clock. 

' Good gracious ! but you are a stupid old thing, and 


I'm worse to listen to you. Talk sense, you crazy creature, 
or to pieces you'll go as sure as you're a clock. Trouble, 
indeed? I tell you I won't have anything of the sort. 
Prophesy something better, or I'll stop you. I'll let you 
run down.' 

Miss Ingram, having no partiality for clocks, paced rest- 
lessly up and down, wondering what her uncle might be 
baying or doing, till at last she could bear it no longer, 
and knocked softly at the study door as it struck twelve. 
There was no answer, not even when she had knocked 
louder. At last she ventured in. 

Sitting before the table was her uncle. He neither 
looked nor spoke nor moved. She felt shocked at herself 
for having presumed to look upon his great grief, yet now 
that she was there, she could not go away without trying 
to comfort him. 

•Uncle!' ' 

He did not answer, did not turn his eyes from the open 
window through which the sleet dashed freely now, for the 
tempest was rising, howling over the land, thrusting its 
cold arm even into that lordly home. 

* Uncle, where is she ? ' 

She thought that was the best way to rouse him, and 
she was partly right. 

* Gone,* he said drearily. 

* Gone, uncle ? You didn't want her gone, did you ? ' 

* I don't know. Heaven help me ! I don't know.' 

* But where is she gone, uncle dear ? ' 

* I don't know.' 

^ Did you tell her to go ? ' 

^'No, no, I told her nothing. I am sure of that,' he 
moaned, speaking freely to himself rather than to his 


niece. ' She said she'd go away and never come back to 
disgrace me. That was what she said.' 

' Oh nncle, nncle, but didn't you tell her to stop p You 
didn't let her out in that rain, that cruel wind ? ' and even 
as she spoke she shivered, for the room was penetrated 
with the damp, fierce blast. 

* Yes, yes ; out in the rain, out in the wind.' 

She looked out in the cold dark night, but she could 
see nothing ; only sheets of rain beaten hither and thither by 
the mighty tempest, and she thought of a thin, ill-clad, 
barefooted girl being drenched in rain and pierced with 

* Poor thing, poor thing, what will become of her ? ' 
she said pitifully, wringing her hands helplessly. She 
longed to ask a question, yet scarcely dared. At length 
the temptation overcame her dread. 

' Uncle, did that man prove his wordd ? * 

* Yes, oh ! yes.' 

The suddenness of the unhesitating avowal took away 
her breath. She paused a moment, stunned by the ccnv 
tainty of what yet she had expected. All her bright 
visions must remain dreams, nothing more ; all the glories 
of her gay youth must hide in decent dulness, respectable 
obscurity. But she could not keep thinking of herself 
while that crushed man was before her, while it was 
possible to say a word of comfort to him. 

' Then that was your daughter ? ' she said softly. 

* My daughter. Yes, I tell you, yes. My daughter, and 
a thief.' 

'Not so harsh, uncle Balph,' she said in the grave, 
sweet manner that had so suddenly come to her. ^ You 
must not remember only her fiEdlings, you must remember 


her unhappiness as well. Think of the sad, sad life she 
must have led ; how she must need comfort now.' 

* A thief, a hopeless, hardened thief, irreclaimable by her 
own confession.' 

* Do you too think, Hke that man who made the speech, 
that it was so very strange she should not suddenly have 
thrown from her all the habits that have been instilled into 
her by habit, ah ! and by cruelty ? Are you so unreasonable, 
so unjust, as to expect anything so monstrous ? Children 
tenderly reared, and fondly loved, spend the best years of 
their lives learning the principles that shall guide them in 
future life, learning them from a hundred teachers ; and 
you expect a poor untaught child, with no one to speak a 
kind word to her, to fling off the teachings of her whole 
life, and acquire goodness and uprightness. How do you 
know what she might be if she had the chance ? ' 

* But she had the chance. There's the sting. She had 
the chance, and she would not live an honest life.' 

* Oh ! this is too absurd,' Miss Ingram exclaimed in- 
dignantly. 'I tell you she had no chance. You take a 
poor wretched little creature, always badgered about, 
always subject to cruelty and ill-usage, every desire except 
for evil stunted within her, and you expect her to 
appreciate being good, denying herself that which she can 
comprehend for what she knows nothing about. I tell you 
that it is impossible, except for the finger of God, to 
uproot the growth of years, and, I repeat, the girl had no 
chance. If you want her to have any fair play, put her 
with kind, gentle, loving people, who will work un- 
ceasingly in eradicating the taints that do not belong to 
her nature : then I will tell you she has had a chance to 
be honest.' 

VOL. I. o 



* Sbe*s gone.' 

' Then we'll look for her to-morrow, shall we not, 
uncle ? Cheer up, yon do not know what nobility Inrks in 
that uncultivated mind, that poor suffering heart. See 
even now what she is capable of ! She runs away from 
your grand house, because she sees you are disgraced by 
her presence. Why, uncle, there are many nobly reared 
who could not do such an action.' 

A ray of hope lighted up his dull eyes, then he shook 
his head desponding. 

' He told me she could never bear to face an honest life, 
and I believe it.' 

*I do not,' said Beatrice Ingram with generous 
indignation. * She has done for you what her misery 
never could goad her into doing for herself— made that 
man her enemy. And all her life has been so miserable. 
Uncle, dear uncle, think of her wandering houseless, 
shelterless — your child, your wife's child. Let me call up 
the servants, let me send them to look for her, let them 
bring her back to you to be comforted after her sad, lonely 

He stretched out his hand as if to shut out the clear, 
sweet voice, to shut out the vision of the pleading face, 
towards which he turned the light of his cold, clear eyes. 

* She is gone ; let her go.' 

' Oh, uncle, no. I cannot.' 

* You cannot ? If I can, why not you ? What do you 
lose ? I lose a daiighter, all hope of having one ; but what 
do you give up ? ' 

' Oh, uncle Rcdph, you acknowledge that she is your 
child, and still you let her go ? ' 


* And still I let her go,' he repeated in a mechanical 
voice. * I did not send her away, mark ; I did not send lier 
away ; but she is gone, and I do not wish her back, though 
I would fain help her if she would let me. I shall go 
down to my grave childless, but my honour shall be 
unspotted before the world.' 

* Oh, how cruel you are ! ' she exclaimed passionately. 
' What is your honour before the world to the fature of 
this poor child whom you so heartlessly desert, to fall into 
whatever sin comes in her way? ' 

'I did not desert her,' he said, still with the same 
metallic ring in his voice ; * but she is gone, and I am 
content. I desire to remain so. I must not be disturbed 
from a purpose that it has cost me so much to arrive at by 
your vain arguments, for it has cost me much, very much, 
do you understand ? ' 

He leaned his hand on her shoulder as he spoke. 

* You are very cruel, but I forgive you,' she said, as she 
marked the lines a night had set on the broad brow, the 
hollows of the eyes, the drawn corners of the patrician 
mouth, the fearfully cadaverous aspect. * Yes, you sin 
terribly, but you suffer also. Yes, yes, you pay a great 
price ; and yet what is this which has cost you so much ? 
What you call your honour is only your pride.' 

* My pride is my name, my name is my honour. Are 
you, an Ingram, incapable of comprehending this ? But 
if you do not understand, at least you will obey ; and I tell 
you I do not wish her name again to be mentioned. I 
desire it to be forgotten. No, no. Miss Ingram, no argu- 
ing ; at least I must still be obeyed.' 

There was an almost ferocious pride in the humiliation 

o 2 



of this aristocrat. Stem, imalterable determination gleamed 
from the scintillating eyes. Miss Ingram felt that she 
conld have hated him bnt for the great misery that battled 
with his cruel pride. 

*You are very cruel,' she repeated, slowly turning 
away, *but you are very miserable too. I could hate 
you for this cruel determination only that I pity you 
so much.' 

• She fastened the window, and bid him good-night, 
wondering whether she had done him harm or good. She 
went out bravely and proudly, though she knew that for 
her the battle was ended. She had not seen the proofs, 
but she knew by Lord Ingram's despair that she was 
Beatrice Ingram, nothing more. 

Bohan Blennerhasset had called at a very late hour, 
having, in fact, promised to accompany them to the Vice- 
regal lodge that night, and had somehow lingered with 
Mrs. Chirrup, heedless of the time, till it was nearly one 
o'clock. He was just saying good-bye to his hostess, when 
Miss Ingram passed up the staircase. He knew by the set 
expression of her lips, by the glittering light of her eyes, 
that she had recognised her position. But had she accepted 
it ? He could not tell. There was that in her face that 
told of a great resolution. Was it a determination to 
battle it out, to contest her ground inch by inch ? He 
could not tell. No, not even when she stopped to say 
good-night and ask if he had not been to the lodge, and 
then passed on ; but he thought it was, and, as I told you 
before, he was a clever, sensible man, and always reasoned 
out his conclusions properly, that there might be no possi- 
bility of a mistake. Besides, if you remember, he prided 
himself on his penetration, the infallible instinct that 


taught him to read men — aye, tlie very Macliiavellis of 
them ; and if men, surely a frivolous, shallow, transparent 
butterfly of fashion. 



Mr. Blennerhasset was right. Miss Ingram had arrived 
at a great resolution, one at least that might have com- 
mended itself to him for its reckless bravery. In consider- 
ing this resolution, to do it justice at all, remember always 
that the real adulation, the feigned adoration of the great 
world, so empty to philosophers who do not comprehend 
it, so obnoxious to cynics who cannot secure it, was neither 
empty nor obnoxious to this young girl, who was neither 
philosopher nor cynic ; who accepted the real and the false, 
each for what it was worth, and derived from both all the 
elements of pleasure, intellectual or social, that they con- 
tained ; that these things were, in fact, very dear to her, 
from her peculiar appreciation of them, that she would do 
much, very much, to secure them. 

' And is she really gone away ? ' Mrs. Chirrup said 
next morning. ' Why did you not tell me last night ? I 
should have slept better to know that the horrid creature 
was out of the house.' 

'Don't talk that way, dear little fairy godmother,' 
Flossy said, in her pretty imperious way. ' It's not like 

* Not talk that way ? ' and Mrs. Chirrup pushed her 



chair back from the toilet table. 'Why, how do yon 
expect me to talk any other way ? Do yon think I'm an 
angel that can sit and see a thief — literally not figuratively 
a thief— come in and rob yon ? I assure you I'm not.' 

' No, you're not an angel,' and Flossy Ingram seated 
herself on a footstool, with her arm round the old lady's 
tiny waist, 'but you are my dear, kind, gentle, fairy 
godmother, who wouldn't be unjust or cruel to anyone, 
least of all to a poor little waif knocked and tossed about 
all the years that I have been petted and fondled and 
made a sort of goddess of. That's it, isn't it, dear ? and 
you wouldn't speak of the faults of such a poor little 
stray, without speaking at the same time of her wretched- 
ness ? You wouldn't think of what she did, without also 
thinking of what drove her to it ? ' 

The sweet young voice had grown grave now, and 
Mrs. Chirrup's brilliant brown eyes filled with tears, and 
she looked down with something of the reverence the 
governor of Mountjoy prison had felt. 

' I suppose she was very unhappy, my dear,' she said, 
softly stroking the soft hair. ' But for all that I can't 
believe she's your uncle's daughter.' 

' The proofs are incontestable, godmother,' Miss Ingram 
said quietly. 

' I shall not believe it till I see them, and in the mean- 
time I do not think you need talk about it.' 

' Certainly not,' Miss Ingram assented eagerly. 'I was 
going to propose that to you. I shall not mention the 
matter to anyone.' 

' Exactly. Let it die out ; for as I tell you she is no 
daughter of your uncle's.' 

' Even if she is not,' Miss Ingram said slowly, * even if 


the proofs are deficient in your eyes, I should like her to 

be found again. Will you impress that upon my uncle ? ' 

' What for, my dear ? ' 

' It could do no harm to make her life a little brighter, 
a little happier.' 

' True, Flossy ; and now I must go and examine these 
proofs. I have not patience to wait any longer.' 

It was long before she returned, and Miss Ingram sat 
all the time on the low footstool, not idle though her 
fingers were unoccupied, but as busy as ever she could be. 
She got up when her godmother came back, and went over 
to her, putting her arms round her, looking steadfastly in 
her face for a few seconds. 

' You are satisfied, godmother ? ' 

* No no, my dear,' and she burst into a passionate flood 
of tears ; ' how can I be satisfied to see you disinherited, 
thrust out by one whom I do not know or love ? 

Miss Ingram made no answer except to lead her god- 
mother to her chair, resuming her own old position, and 
Mrs. Chirrup wept and talked, and talked and wept. 

'But perhaps she'll never come back. I hope she 
never will. You cannot be displaced as long as she does 
not appear.' 

' True, godmother.' 

' I suppose it's very wicked of me, but I do wish it ; 
and Ralph doesn't want her back I'm sure, so why should 
you or I ? Dear, dear, I'm very sinfal, and I grow worse 
the nearer I go to the grave, my dear ; but somehow I can- 
not think of that girl being miserable and unhappy now, 
I can only think of her coming to thrust you out, and 
when I think of that, I hate her.' 


The poor little lady knew every word she was saying, 
and yet she said it, and conld not help saying it. 

* It's very wicked, Flossy, I suppose ? ' 

* I suppose so,' Flossy said ; * but it won't last.' 

* Well my love, I don't wish her ill, but still if she 
never came back, how much happier we would all be. 
There is no harm in saying that, is there ? ' 

' Do you think we should be happier ? ' 

' All this would be forgotten, my darling. If she was 
not to be found, you would still be the heiress of Ingram, 
baroness to be.' 

*It is true, godmother,' Miss Ingram said again. 

Mrs. Chirrup never forgot that conversation, nor the 
expression of her goddaughter's face as she stood by the 
window looking out at the rain that still drizzled and spit 
at the moauing wind. 

*How she must have got drenched last night, god- 
mother. But bringing her back now wouldn't alter that, 
would it ? ' 

' Well, scarcely, my dear.' 

' And dry clothes and a bed would be just as good 
anywhere as here. Isn't that what you mean, god- 
mother ? ' 

Mrs. Chirrup was not conscious of having meant 

'I suppose I meant that.' 

' And if she shouldn't get shelter, still she is so used to 
suffering she will not mind it. Is that it ? ' 

* Ah, my dear, when I think of her so sad as that my 
heart aches for her. Poor thing, drenched with rain too ! ' 

' Drenched with rain, covered only with rags, hungry. 
'No memories to look back to, no future to cheer her on. 


Struggling with a mere instinct of life against the wind 
that had better batter her down and leave her dead, that 
can do no kinder thing than bruise her poor existence out 
of her.' 

* Don't, don't, Flossy,' said Mrs. Chirrup, putting her 
arms round this young girl who was so dear to her. 
' I'm very sorry for her — ^but, I can't help it, I'm sorry for 
you too.' 

'Ah ! godmother. So am I.' 



The great world was on the qui vive. Much had transpired 
that had happened, and much that hadn't happened as 
well, which, as I told you before, is nothing new ; and few 
will need to be told that in the work of picking the Ingram 
coat to pieces more genuine satisfaction was experienced 
by Christian people than is often crammed into one season 
of concerts, balls, theatres, picnics, and fashionable services. 
Some said the peer had turned the impostor out of doors, 
others that he had owned her for his daughter, but driven 
her out in the storm for disgracing him ; some declared the 
ex-prisoner was living in state in the old Place whither the 
family had gone, reigning in the room of Miss Ingram 
deposed, and that it was the latter who was banished; 
while some related circumstantially how the lost heiress 
was smuggled off to France to be immured in a convent. 
The Hotel Meurice in Dublin was the favourite dining 



centre of many men of letters. It was also the resort of 
fashionable idlers, and Mr. Clinton and Charlie Devereux 
occasionally patronised it. The two latter stood talking on 
the steps, when a close cab drove up. 

'Your cousin will lose the best of the season,' Mr. 
Clinton remarked. 

* I shall be sorry if she does,' Charlie answered ; ' but 
she would not remain when my uncle was going. I 
thought she would have stayed at Lady Waldegrave's.' 

' Did Lady Waldegrave ask her ? ' 
Charlie Devereux's handsome eyes flashed fire, but Mr. 
Clinton stopped his haughty response. 

* Don't misunderstand me, Devereux. I am older than 
you, older, perhaps, than you will ever be, for you have a 
young heart, and though I am no cynic I know the world. 
That is why I ask did Lady Waldegrave ask your cousin 
to stay with her. Lady Waldegrave is a woman of the 
world ; one of those who rule wise men, and are in their 
turn swayed by fools. To her the heiress of Ingram and 
plain Miss Ingram are two very different personages, let 
me tell you.' 

' If I thought that,' Charlie exclaimed impetuously, * I 
would cut her to-morrow. Or, no, I cannot as a gentleman 
very well do that, but I will tell Flossy to do it.' 

* Do you imagine, then, that in repeating what I have 
said to Miss Ingram you would be telling her anything 
she does not know ? Why, what a doll you and Rohan 
Blennerhasset would make of her ! And yet, let me tell 
you, she is no doll.' 

Out of the cab stepped a cloaked figure, muffled up 
beyond recognition that dusky afternoon. The two gentle- 
men scrutinised it with some curiosity ; then forgot it. 


Rohan Blennerhasset, who had just come out, joined in the 
scrutiny, but not to forget so soon. He stood on the step 
talking to Charlie Devereux and Mr. Clinton. Yes, and he 
stood there long after they were gone, recalling over and 
over with marvellous minuteness the exacfc folds of that 
long grey dress, devoid of ornament of any description. 
What was the wearer of it doing there ? Above all, what 
was she doing in such mysterious guise that might well 
baflBie all eyes but his ? 

Suddenly it struck him what a mean thing he was 
doing. He was waiting to get another look at one who 
evidently did not wish to be seen. Flushing even to the 
temples at the thought, he turned hastily away, and 
turned down another street which the back part of the 
hotel looked into, the building forming a square with a 
yard in the middle. Standing under the shelter of a 
portico was the lady with the long grey dress and veil and 
thick cloak, but he did not perceive her until he heard her 

' I shall depend upon you, then ; your diligence shall be 
rewarded. But remember above everything — ^make no dis- 
closures to anyone but myself. That is the point I wish 
to impress upon you. Upon that hinges the success of my 
plans. Kot a soul must know that I have employed you.' 

' Sure, ma*am, it's myself that understands every bit of 
it. Silent as death, secret as the grave. You goin' out 
front, ma'am ? All right, then, this is my way.' 

Another moment a man brushed past Rohan Blenner- 
hasset, pushing him ever so slightly against the lamp-post. 
He turned hastily with a 'beg parding, sir, if you're a 
gentleman ; you beg mine if you're not. Lor, sir, is it you, 
Mr. Blennerhasset ? Fine night, sir, this.' 


' Yes, beautiful weather for getting the scent, eh ? ' 

* Yes, sir, capital, not good for a trail though ; it's too 
dirty weather for what's after all dirty work.' 

The bead-like ferret eyes, the tumed-up nose that had 
a peculiar air of scenting intelligence from every trifle, the 
big heavy jaw that looked so like hunting down vermin, 
were well known to the lawyer. It was Job Ferret, the 
detective, the cleverest in his line in Dublin, and they 
were obliged to have some clever men there to cope with 
the ingenuity of the Dublin prowlers. 

It was Job Ferret. But what was Job Ferret doing 
with the wearer of the long grey dress ? 

' Ah ! but she's a deep one, she is ; ' and Job Ferret 
rubbed his hands with a dry chuckle. * And she thinks I 
don't know who she is, or what her motive is, as if the 
one wouldn't tell the other ; and she gives me a sham 
address to write to — me, as if I didn't know her like ABC. 
Well, well, why should I spoil her little game ? more espe- 
cially when I'm paid for putting the dogs on. What's it 
to me if she wants — as is only human nature — to keep what 
she's got ? Lor, for the matter of that I'd do it myself, 
and it's not to be expected a tip-top grandee should have as 
good principles as a hard-working fellow like me. And for 
the matter of that, she'll know better what to do with 
what she's got than t'other poor creature — for instance she 
has the gumption to pay ; other one wouldn't — not she.' 

So you see, like Mr. Blennerhasset, Job Ferret worked 
out his conclusions, and he, too, was a clever man, only in 
his own way. To show the certainty of such working, it 
is worth recording that both, though never for a moment 
in collusion, arrived at precisely the s&me solution. Gould 
anything be more logically demonstrative P 




It was lonely enough in that old round honse at the end of 
the Latin. So the tramp found it as he sat and smoked 
by the dull chimney, and saw in the curling wreaths visions 
of the man he hated, sitting with his daughter beside him, 
listening to a low voice that called him father, perhaps, 
watching the firelight bring out on the girl's face the lines 
that marked the baby's. 

' And she was always so queerly gentle she'll learn the 
lesson easy enough. Who taught her ? I never did, nor 
nobody that I ever knew of; but gentle she was, and 
nothing could make her vicious. Why, why ? who has 
done it ? ' 

In the curling wreath he saw the reflection of the 
morbid answer his mind framed. 

* Is it in the blood ? Or is it that the same Heaven that 
lets the rich man ruin the poor man guards the lord's 
treasure ? Is that it, and is he even now exulting in the 
thought ? Fool ! does he think I will leave it to him ? But 
no, he shall never have that satisfaction. If I cannot 
destroy her, her goodness shall not be for him.' 

He flung his pipe in the grate with passionate vehe- 
mence. The air of the place oppressed him and impeded 
bis thoughts, so he wrapped himself in his heavy coat, 
while honest men shivered under rents and patches, and 
went out. The door flapped dismally on its hinges ; 
there was no one to shut it, but he took no heed. A few 
minutes' walk brought him to the Shivers. There was a 


light in the crazy tenement, and pnshing the door open he 
found the Otter. 

It was damp, there was no denying it. The Otter 
himself had something damp and limp about him to-night, 
as though even he had succumbed to the influence of the 
place. But anything was better than that solitary fireside, 
with no companion but his fierce brooding sense of wrong, 
and just now the grievance uppermost was the discovery 
that he actually missed this girl. She had been a better 
daughter to him than his own poor girl had ever been ; 
but was not this only the more reason to decry the par- 
tiality of Fate? The companionship of the Otter was 
preferable to that, and after a surly greeting he sat down. 

* Heard of anything ? ' questioned the Otter, afber a 
pause, not quite accustomed to frieudly calls. 

' No.' 

The Otter would not have been at all surprised to hear 
that an obliging fire was about to occur at some store, or 
that a valuable service of plate awaited his acceptance in 
an accommodating vault. Things which would have sur- 
prised ordinary men took no effect on him, coming and 
going, and leaving him sleek and sHmy as ever ; but the 
blank ' No ' did surprise him. If Balfe had not come on 
business, what had brought him ? 

But Balfe was not in a humour to be communicative, 
and the two smoked away in silence. Even the production 
of the stone jar elicited no remark from the tramp ; when 
his glass was filled for him he emptied it and went on 

At last he spoke. 

* Have ye never heard from the girl ? ' 

' No,' said the Otter eagerly ; ' have you ? ' 


Again there was a pause. Then Balfe asked — 

* You miss her, don't you ? ' 

* Jenny? Yes.' There was an involuntary plaint in 
the man's voice. 

* You wor a fool to let her go.' 

^ Bedad, there was little letting in it, an' I'm not quite 
sure I'm so much of a fool after all. It's not to a grand 
house I sent her with my eyes open, at any rate.' 

* But I'll get her back ; ' and Balfe meant what he said. 

* Perhaps you will, and perhaps you won't. A girl likes 
fine things and fine people ; a girl likes to look down on 
hard-run fellows like you and me ; ay, an' a girl finds it 
easy to get fond of them she's with.' 

*I don't know,' sneered Balfe, nettled by the Otter's 
remarks ; * your girl didn't seem to find it so easy, and she 
had a good many years to try.' 

The Otter made no reply ; he smoked in silence, a little 
more downcast than before. 

* I wasn't the sort for Jenny to like,' he said at last. 
* She had uppish notions, had Jenny, and took after her 
mother to think about respectability and all that nonsense. 
It's much the same your girl was, only she hadn't Jenny's 

* Maybe she * hadn't what you call spirit,' said Balfe 
contemptuously ; * but she put you and me at defiance for 
three weeks, and then we didn't get the better of her.' 

* Ay, it's wonderful, it is, the holding out there is in 
these girls,' said the Otter reflectively. * Skinny and poor 
they look, that you might double them up in yer fist, and 
when they take a thing into their heads, it's like pulling a 
screw out of a rotten plank to get it out again. Ye can't 


do it without a smash, though for that matter it's the 
wearing of ten men they have.' 

Decidedly the companionship of the Otter was not more 
enlivening than his own thoughts, and muttering a growling 
* good-night,' he walked out into the darkness, back to the 
flapping door that had no one to latch it. He sat down by the 
gloomy fireside, hard and bitter thoughts bearing him com- 
pany. He thought of Alice, and wondered why she had 
never returned to him. Then he thought of the girl who 
had been better to him than his own. Then he reflected 
that he had given his enemy that which he never had had 
until of late. And should Lord Ingram sit in pomp and 
luxury, ministered to by his daughter, satisfying the crav- 
ings of his heart with her affection, while he sat childless 
in that lonely tenement, by that blackened hearth ? Should 
that be his revenge ? No, no, no. He buttoned his frieze 
coat with the air of a man who has a purpose, and strode 
out. * 

What a fool be had been to suffer his heart to open to 
that innocent baby, thinking he would shut her out when 
she was grown up ! She was grown up now, and he did 
not hate her as he ought. He had never meant to think 
kindly of her, even as a helpless child, but somehow the 
unsuspecting confidence, the appealing helplessness of the 
infant, had crept into his heart unawares. * Fight against it 
as he would, with all the might of a strong will and an 
undeviating purpose, he could not alter that now. 

Ingram Place was wrapped in darkness; but he had 
been told the family had come there that day, and the 
lateness of the hour did not deter him. The great pile 
loomed gigantic in the night, and the plashing fountains 
were only distinguishable by their tinkling music. Here 


and there a star struggled through the dull clouds and 
twinkled down through the thick branches of the stately 
trees, as if inquisitively demanding what that tramp could 
want in the pleasure grounds of Ingram Place. 

The bell resounded with a startling clangour under his 
vigorous touch. 

' I want to see your master.' 

*You do, do you? Well, now, that's very polite of 
you. How' 11 1 announce you ? ' 

A glance from those fiery eyes stopped the stream of 

* I'll save you the trouble, specially as my name might 
shock your nerves. I'll announce myself.' 

He pushed the man aside as he would a feather, and 
found his way to the study. There was something in the 
fierce rap that warned Lord Ingram of what was coming. 

* Again 1 ' he said passionately ; * again do you come to 

* Again ? Have you forgotten that I am your daugh- 
ter's guardian ? And have you forgotten my promise ? ' 

* She returned to you ? ' 

* Returned to me ! Who ? ' 

* That girl.' He could not humble his patrician pride 
to name her. 

* You don't think to baffle me this way, my lord,' Balfe 
said with superb scorn. ' Do you imagine I can't fathom 
your design, or do you think I cannot hunt her out in any 
comer of the earth ? ' 

It was plain he knew nothing of her, and Lord Ingram 
rang the bell for the servant to put him out. Yet stay. 
He might find her, although the detectives had failed. 
Would anything induce him to be merciful ? 

VOL. I. p 


* If you found her, would you have no mercy ? ' 

* Mercy — yes, the mercy you showed I'll show. Could 
I imitate a more perfect gentleman than yourself ? — and I 
mean to follow on your heels so closely that you will be 
ready to swear I have blue blood in my veins.' 

Lord Ingram paced restlessly up and down. Oh ! how 
he longed to strike to the earth this demon who lorded it 
over him in his own house ; this plebeian, who with sacri- - 
legions hand tarnished his patrician name, trampled his 
pride in the mire ! Oh, to feel that he wanted to trample 
upon him ! Oh, to feel that passionate hate, that goading 
madness to be revenged ! Oh, to feel all this and to know 
he could do nothing, that he was hopelessly in his clutch, 
that he must hide his loathing and hate and revenge in his 
heart, that he must restrain his fury for fear of further 
exasperating the tiger who held him in his grip-^nay, 
worst of all, to know that he must temporise ! 

* Should you find her, what reward will you take to 
give her back to me ? ' 

* Nothing. I want nothing for doing my duty. I will 
restore her at the end of seven years, and ask no reward 
but to see it.' 

' I will give you gold, land, houses. You shall be so 
rich that you will never want to steal — not independent, 
but rich. How much — five thousand down ? ' 

* All that, my lord, wouldn't do. It couldn't save my soul.' 

* It could ; yes, it would. You could spend the years of 
your life in goodness. I will give you double.' 

* Too late, too late ! Were I to be an honest man from 
this till the day of my death it wouldn't save my soul, 
it wouldn't wash out the wickedness of all the past. I 
am blackened beyond washing out, if I had an eternity 


instead of a few years to try for it. It's no use holding 
out that reward. My being good your way wouldn't save 
me now, and I couldn't be if it would.' 

* What reward then — places, pensions ? A situation 
under Government, or an annuity ? ' 

* None of these ; yet if you give me what I want I will 
find your daughter for you.' 

* What is it ? I promise.' 

* Only my daughter, my lord. My innocent little girl 
that went away in the convict ship eleven years ago. 
Bring her back to me pure and good, with only that one 
crime on her that pitying aiigels might wash out, and, 
though even that cannot save me now, I will forgive you 
all for her soul's sake. I will not pursue my experiment 
on noble blood, and you will be no longer childless. Will 
you find her for me ? Would you, callous aristocrat that 
you are, dare to seek her ? Would you have the courage 
to look for her in the dens and caves of the earth, the 
habitations of cruelty, of inconceivable iniquity, into which 
you have thrust her ? ' 

Lord Ingram sank in his chair, but he gazed as if fasci- 
nated at the stern face, the powerful massive brows knit so 
fiercely under the matted locks. 

'You tremble, you shiver, you would not dare that. 
And why should you ? It would help you to gauge my 
misery, not to relieve it, for your search would be vain ; as 
well might you think to bring a sheaf of straw from out a 
furnace. But now, my lord, I'll show you the generosity 
one of the rabble can be capable of. I'll send back your 
daughter on one condition.' 

Lord Ingram looked with a wild clutch at hope. He 
was relenting, this fearful man. 

p 2 



* What ? ' 

' That she is willing to come.' 

The sardonic langh swallowed up the phantom hope, 
and Lord Ingram felt himself struggling in the dark water 
without even a straw to grasp at. 

When he looked up the tramp was gone. 

' Find his daughter ? Where ? How ? ' 

There was something painfully vacillating in the noble- 
man's expression as he revolved this idea; it absorbed 
that other of Balfe seeking the unfortunate vagrant who 
had run out into the rain and wind. Whether his faculties 
had become weakened or his nerves shaken by the harass- 
ing anxiety of years, culminating in an overwhelming dis- 
grace, he could not separate the ragged child who had 
looked at him so pitifully in that room from the young 
offender whom he had not spared twelve years ago. 



A QUEER old comer of a lumbering attic, partitioned off, 
sloping so much that there was only room to stand at one 
side. Half a chair — that is to say, three legs, the seat, and 
two rungs — ^the best part of a deal table, that has really no 
fault to speak of excepting a chronic affection for coming 
to pieces under any weight ; a jug without handle or lip ; 
very nearly the whole of a basin capable of containing at 
least a quart of water ; a small oblong bundle at the low 


side of the garret, with a suspicion of a bolster 'and the 
idea of a quilt. 

There is a little window too, not big enough to see out 
of, nor yet to let much light in, but so near the floor that 
you can sit on the ground and flatten your nose against 
the cracked pane, and catch a glimpse of the blue sky, or, 
if it is a fine day, take rags out of the broken one and 
squeeze your head a little way through, and fancy you are 
breathing the air of heaven and listen to the inysterious 
busy hum that comes up from the street, far, ever so far 

A weird tiny figure sits by the window now. Not 
looking out, oh, no, that takes up too much time, but 
stitching coarse garments and small fingers with equal 
ruthlessness. A queer elfish little creature who would 
have looked more at home on a broomstick than sitting 
there doing sempstress's work. 

It had been strange work ta Jenny, and by no means 
easy, to go from one shop to another, begging humbly for 
employment, only to be refused, and always on the score 
that to whom has, shall be given; to walk patiently, 
footsore, and heartsore from house to house, stating her 
urgent need and willingness to work to fishy-eyed, fishy- 
hearted women, who had no sympathy for any distress not 
their own; to wonderfully wise, respectable men, who 
knew better than to believe in it, or to credit that such as 
she should want to earn her bread honestly. 

At times the rebellious, passionate nature revolted 
against the thousand causeless, curious enquiries, ended 
with, * I hardly think you'll suit me ; ' or, * I have no work 
now, but if you like to call in the spring and bring good 
references I may try you.' At times she would answer 


slnrs and sneers with passionate taunts or biting sarcasm, 
prompted by her keen perception of the ludicrous ; bitter 
recrimination against those who extracted her history, 
only to ask her in pious horror how she could presume to 
ask them to be the first to risk trusting her. Yes, at 
times Jenny Joy nearly gave in — nearly, but never quite. 
Sleeping sometimes on a mat, but oftener on the bare 
ground, now and then begging the shelter of some 
hovel, here this night, there the next, she persevered, 
though starvation stared her in the face, though Christian 
charity seemed sterner than the sternest justice of an 
offended Deity. She persevered, though handkerchiefs 
peeped temptingly from convenient pockets, though every 
haunt where she could safely dispose of stolen articles 
was well known to her. She persevered in her determina- 
tion to be respectable and earn an honest living * like her 
mother,' though hundreds of easy-going, good-natured 
people passed her in the streets waiting for her to beg 
a copper, though she could have earned more in a day by 
holding out her hands and assuming a pitifdl whine 
than she seemed likely to get in a year for all this 
weary humiHty, trudging through the business streets of 

The reward came at last. Not in the shape of a 
grand gentleman, who fell in love with her in her rags, and 
married her in an assumed name— that is the general 
way, though why there should be any necessity for an 
assumed name, goodness only knows, unless it is that he is 
ashamed of the girl he is represented as voluntarily making 
his wife. No, nor in the shape of some rich relative 
suddenly discovered. Generally speaking, in these times, if 
relatives don't turn up before they are rich, they don't 


turn up at all. Not even in the guise of a marvellously 
rich and equally eccentric — that is the poUto term for 
cracked — old lady wanting an heiress, or some charming 
old bachelor wanting a daughter. My experience has 
been that the eccentric old ladies always have more 
heiresses than they know what to do with, and who, in the 
nineteenth century at any rate, save them the heart- 
rending necessity of seeking legacy-hunters in the back 
slums of a city ; and as for the wealthy bachelors, bless 
their hearts, let them be as ugly as sin, or as wicked 
as that amiable creature Nero, I would guarantee 
them any amount of charmingly disinterested friends 
with large sympathies and larger families. No, no, the 
age of romance has gone by, I have been told on good 
authority. I have heard it doubted, on equally good 
authority, that it ever existed, except in the brains of 
some scattered Don Quixotes ; and Jenny, though bearing 
every external evidence of being the lineal descendant of 
some Kerry witch, or some wise woman of Rathdrum who 
had intermarried with the * good people,' had lost every 
trace of the art of evoking supernatural aid ; so it didn't 
come in a fairy legend either. 

No, it came in a much more commonplace way, as 
befits the essentially commonplace age we live in. The 
mistress of a small back shop, who employed some dozen 
women to do the work of thirty at the wages of five, was 
suddenly overrun with work — sailors' clothing. She was 
induced to try the black-eyed girl whose patient per- 
sistence had been an ofience to her ; and finding her a 
trifle cheaper kept her on. She did not know, she would 
not have cared if she had known, that the first work was. 
finished by the light of a brick-kiln. 


Brave Jenny Joy. Happier than a princess with that 
first sixpence honestly earned, she battled with her hunger 
long before she could part with it. No more stray coppers 
to keep her from starving, no more begging for stale 
loaves when the fierce hunger had the mastery. She 
could earn now. What though it might be so little as to 
barely keep her life in her? What though she should 
toil day and night, night and day ? She had set her steps 
in the way her mother walked, and she looked her life 
boldly in the face with an exultant courage that defied 
its gloom and its dangers. 

Hard work ? Well, yes, it was hard work, to keep 
on when the first flush of triumph had died out, leaving 
her inert and languid. But was it not something to think 
that she was able to pay half the rent of this garret, which 
she had nearly to herself, the girl who occupied it with her 
being out all day ? If her cheeks had grown more pale 
and more pinched, if her eyes had grown larger and 
deeper, if the circles round them had become a blue-black 
rim, what of that ? She was respectable, * as her mother 
had been,' who was with her all the day long, and through 
the dismal, wearisome nights when she wanted to sleep and 

Never mind if she felt ravenously hungry when there 
was nothing to eat, and daintily delicate when she had 
purchased her dry loaf. Never mind if the ravenous 
hunger died away, and the pulse beat feebly, and the blood 
crept if it crept at all in a slow, indolent, lethargic fashion, 
that rendered exertion a trouble. Never mind if the pas- 
sionate longing to fly once more at full speed through 
the open fields or across the brick-field — aye, or even down 
the crowded lanes, anywhere so long as she could run and 


know again what rapid motion was — gave way to a single 
desire to be let sit still, that made her wonder how she 
could be so lazy. When that thought came, she would 
rouse herself with the old energy ; for a moment the slug- 
gish blood would flow more swiftly, but only to creep with 
slower, duller pace, with a wearier, feebler struggle for 
vitality when the excitement was over. 

So the battle began and waged first fiercely, then in- 
sidiously, on the part of the opposing forces, and brave 
little ignorant, untaught Jenny Joy combated as bravely 
the latter tactics as the former ; fought stoutly, blind as 
she was, for the little light she had, and asserted the royal 
prerogative of her human birth to its possession. 

Ah ! but she had not won yet. And partial hunger, and 
whole starvation, and mean, scant clothing, and lonely days 
in a bare shivering garret, and aching shoulders, and scald- 
ing eyes, and feverish nights, are powerful forces in Satan's 
army ; mailed warriors to be pitted against this poor little 
elf, hampered by her ignorance, her long habits. Who 
would win ? 



Slower and longer became the walk from the garret to 
Mrs. Kneadwell's with her bundle of work. The steep, 
narrow staircase seemed steeper and narrower and higher 
each time her tired feet mounted the four flights of rotten 



Toiling down their treacborons depths she comes this 
wet, windy Saturday night. The streets are not the prin- 
cipal ones, but there is a flare of gas in them from the stray 
lamp-posts, a flicker from the grocery shop, a dazzling 
stream of radiance from the public houses. What wonder 
that the enticing domains of whiskeydom should be crowded 
to overflowing ; what wonder that poor, comfortless, hungry 
wretches should throng to those comfort-promising coun- 
ters, ablaze with light, warm with sociability, glittering 
with crystal, genial with coarse merriment ? What wonder 
that all these charms should outweigh in the minds of 
famishing men and women the prospect of a cold hearth, 
a dry crust, and a cup of tea? ay, and the dread of a 
bitter waking would be encountered for the blessed privi- 
lege of foi'gettuig for a while. 

Poor cold, hungry wretches, is it to you it was said : 
* No drunkard shall enter into the kingdom ' ? No, no ; 
that warning was addressed to the polished, refined, wealthy 
Corinthians, who out of pure gluttony and wilful debase- 
ment steeped their souls in sinful forgetftilness of the gifts 
of a beneficent Creator, wantonly ruining the best, the 
grandest of them all, putting aside with fearful profanity 
the magnificent attributes of a higher creation, to lower 
themselves from the likeness of a Deity to the level of a 
brute. To the rich, the refined, the fortunate, the happy, 
that subUme denunciation of determined degradation was 
delivered ; not to the poor, the comfortless, the abject, the 
miserable. Don't imagine that I am pleading a justifica- 
tion for drunkenness on the part of our poorer classes^ 
Nay, I hold sin to be an actual as well as a relative thing ; 
drunkenness is drunkenness whether in the beggar or the 
king ; but I would only remind you of the extenuating 


circumstances in the case of the former — which, not being 
a Poet Laureate, I may remark do not exist in the case of 
the latter. And does it not say in a sublime old book, 
enriched by the Laureate of Laureates, that to whom much 
is given, of him much shall be required? Nut a usual 
maxim with Laureates you know, who — very naturally, 
being paid for it — ^preach the divine right of those to whom 
•aU is given to give nothing in return. 

She looked into the^^vhiskey shop, that weary, com- 
fortless girl, with the heart sinking within her for lack of 
nourishment. She knew the taste of drink. She knew 
that the bright liquid would put fire into her veins, and 
gaiety and warmth into her cold heart, aad bright dreams, 
short but bright, into her head. And oh, how she craved 
for something that would do that ! She saw the quickly- 
gathering throng, shouting and laughing like kings and 
queens with newly-gained thrones, singing and jesting in 
reckless revelry, doing homage to the god that gave them 
one hour of blissful forgetfolness, that made them ob- 
livious for a space of their rags and leanness and mental 
and bodily degradation ; and she longed to taste the 
magic cup that should make her one of them, so that she 
too might be rich with fancied possessions ; that she too 
m.ight sing and shout, and forget the real to reign in an 
ideal world, and revel in boundless wealth. 

The battle was raging now. Who would win ? 

Brave little Jenny Joy. Shivering, wet, hungry, and 
weak, craving for anything, even that fiery fluid, some- 
thing that should make her either less or more alive : she 
turned away. Turned away, though her foot was on the 
step, and her hand on the sevenpence put by to make up 
the rent with what she should receive. 


Mrs. Kneadwell looked at the laggard keenly, and 
scratinised the work. 

' It's badly done,' she said. * You're not much of a 
worker. How much do you want for this ? * 

* How much ? ' Jenny faltered in surprise. * Sixpence.' 
It was the usual price. 

* Sixpence ? Why, I suppose you know all the wages 
is fallen ? I can't afford to give you more than fourpence.' 

She never blushed, that hard, grasping woman ; she 
only felt uncomfortable beneath the gaze of the mournful 
black eyes that seemed to read her through and through. 

* Fourpence ? It took me the whole of yesterday and 
to-day, and the best part of last night. The candle was a 
halfpenny ; you offer me threepence-halfpenny for two days 
and a night.' 

* K you don't like it, you can go elsewhere,' said Mrs. 
Kneadwell coolly. ' There's your money, and you can 
take it or leave it. I can get plenty of workwomen, and 
thankful ones too.' 

So she could, women and girls by the score, thanks 
and willing to come. Heaven help them, if so lifelike a 
feeling could be said to animate their starved souls and 

She took the money up and looked at it. Fourpence 
for two days and a night. That with what she had would 
still be a penny short of the rent, and she had calculated 
on having a penny over. All the old rebellious spirit rose 
up within her, and she flung the pitiful coin from her with 
bitter, bitter words. GraJling taunts, that made even that 
callous, griping woman wince and blush, came from the 
passionate lips, that curled in fierce, angry scorn as though 


hunger had never pinched them. Then she went away, 
desolate and miserable, after the passion was spent. 

Why had she not taken the fourpence ? It would have 
paid her rent and given her a loaf for the next day. But 
she could not humble herself to go back for it, and she 
wandered about Hstlessly in the vicinity of the whiskey 

And they looked so bright and cheerful, so temptingly 
comforting in their glory of gas-light, glowing big and 
bright ; and merry, reckless mirth, ribald it might be, but 
still merry. True, oaths and angry altercations mingled 
with the frantic laughter as the night wore on, and the 
drink wrought its vengeance on the revellers. True, now 
and then a brawl rose high above the gaiety. True that 
faces began to grow flushed and sullen, or pale and set in 
a villainous pallor ; but at least it was not all gloom, not all 
black, bitter darkness — at least it was still warm and 
bright and mad. 

Oh, to be mad for a little ! 0, the wild craving for a 
temporary insanity, in which her shivering soul might be 
warmed and fed and clothed ! Even the thought of awak- 
ing to colder, bitterer want did not appal her like the 
fierceness of the present. 

' Prime stuff, not a headache in a cask of it, and good 
measure. A noggin, Phil Mooney, for you ? Ah, sure, but 
it's yourself is the bad pay, only ye know I haven't the 
heart to refuse ye, ye villain. Ah, Mr. Flanagan, ye see 
how they impose on my good nature and put the com- 
ether on me. Ale for you, sir ? Sure, now, but it's cold 
stuff for a night like this. Ye'll thry this ? That's right ; 
that's the stuff to warm the dead. Ha, ha, beyond proof is 
it, Jack, ye rogue ? It's yourself knows what's what. 


Clean glasses for the ladies, ye spalpeen. Well, my girl ? 
Come along. This is what'll cheer your heart, if ye lost 
every relation nndher the snn. Come on ; this is what'll 
make the woman of you.' 

She stood heedless of the many curious eyes, her own 
like two shining jets fixed on that tiny glass of burning 
poison. Oh, the warmth, the cheeriness ! Oh, the cruel wet 
and cold ! The battle was raging now. Who would win ? 

She turned once more. What saved her ? Was it the 
thought of the dead mother? Partly, and partly the 
remembrance of a weak, infirm old woman who lived in an 
empty room, with an uncovered, flagged floor ; a wheezy, 
rheumatic old woman, who toiled about that tumbledown 
house, conciliating the lodgers she could not bully, bullying 
those she need not study; a poor, irritable, failing old 
woman, with never a kind word but often a fawning one, 
but a woman who had been made what she was by a 
grinding poverty her nature was not strong enough to 
resist ; a poor old woman who had no subsistence but the 
precarioas rents she bullied and wheedled. Should she rob 
that poor old woman ? Should she riot, though famishing, 
on the money that was justly another's ? Would her mother 
have spent it, though she starved, to wrong one so miser- 
able ? No, no, no ; a thousand times, no. Talk of honesty ! 
There is no honesty like that of the poor. 

Away, away from that inviting palace, where the 
warmth and glare of light and loud-voiced mirth blinded 
and deafened her, to what misery might be behind — nay, 
staring her in the face. Away from the fantastic fascina- 
tion of the spell that should, if only for a moment, endow 
her with wealth of friends and happiness. Away from the 
light and life and hope of respite back to the dingy garret. 


* Why don't you go back to your father, Jenny ? ' 

It was a question Anne Temple often asked. She was 
utterly at a loss to understand the motives that induced 
Jenny to endure so much hardship and privation when, by 
simply returning to her father, she could eujoy plenty. 
She never exactly comprehended why Jenny should wish 
to enrol herself amongst the honest poor, whose sufferings 
are so terrible, when, by remaining in the Thieves' Latin, 
she could have everything that they had not, except respecta- 
bility ; and somehow this respectability seemed such a cold, 
dead thing to this ill-nourished, round-shouldered, cough- 
ing young woman, who was passively honest chiefly 
because she had not strength to be actively anything. 
She never counted odd scraps of muslin or silk left over in 
the workroom, though she had a very orthodox horror of 
stealing, under which head came the abstraction of any- 
thing of a yard in dimensions. She did not see why Jenny 
should not take part in what her father would plunder, 
whether or no. 

There was no trace of a fire. Though Anne could 
work at finer material than Jenuy, she could not afford 
such a luxury as that, even had there been a grate. . To- 
night the fare she warmly invited Jenny to partake of was 
particularly poor and scant, for, with the cruel thought- 
lessness human creatures can exercise to their fellows, her 
payment had been left over till the Monday. 

* But I daren't say a word,' she explained, ' or I'd have 
got the sack. And that villain of an old woman won't 
trust me with more than this penn'orth of tea. She says I 
kept her too long out of her money that six weeks I was 

Looking uneasily at the dark eyes that grew bigger 


and drearier with each spatter of the tallow candle that 
would soon be out, Anne renewed her queries, and did 
her best to allure Jenny to return to the flesh-pots of 
Egypt. Ah ! Despise these flesh-pots, ye full ones, for 
whom the earth pours out its fatness; sneer at your 
weaker brethren who can be so sorely tempted by so vile a 
thing; grind them down in the dirt, trample on the 
despicable wretches, and go on your ways rejoicing that ye 
are not as they are. Oh, how savoury and alluring these 
same flesh-pots looked just now to the weakened frame; 
the delicious odour came up to her very nostrils, creating 
a giant appetite, but she made no sign of the struggle 
within ; she only looked at Anne with those great sad eyes 
of hers, and said — 

* I want to be respectable, Anne ; my mother was.' 

* Respectable, fiddlesticks,' said placid Anne with more 
energy than usual ; then relapsing into her easy-going way, 
she remarked — 

* Sure, girl, you needn't steal there any more than here, 
and what's the good of starving yourself to death ? 
Who'll be the better of it ? ' 

Jenny only shook her head, and declined the repeated 
offer of a share of the tea and bread. The ravenous 
hunger had partly passed away, and she could not snatch 
the insufl&cient morsel from one as poor as herself. Instead 
of that she went out, taking the sevenpence with her — to 
buy food, and let the rent wait, Anne naturally concluded. 
She did not see her go down to the old woman and tend^ 
her the money in part payment, an offer that was accepted 
with grumblings and muttered threats which followed the 
heart-sick girl out into the sloppy -darkness. 

All night long Anne Temple stayed awake in the 


rattling garret, wondering why Jenny did not return. 
She was a nervous girl, and all sorts of superstitious 
£Ekncies came, but not Jenny. 

• • • • • • • 

It was a gloomy, murky night. Great black clouds 
drifted overhead like a pall, and the river flowed on 
in silent majesty, turbid and swollen, a dread, sullen 
majesty such as the brow of Lucifer might wear. Jenny 
stood dreamily thinking how pleasant it would be to end 
all her sorrows, to finish for ever the fierce strife between 
good and evil, to drown her life and her misery in that 
voiceless tide. She had been back to the shop, and 
Mrs, Kneadwell had not only reftised to give the four- 
pence, but forbidden her to come again for work. What 
could she do ? 

* Where did you work last ? ' * Why did you lose it ? ' 
' Can you bring good references ? ' Oh ! she knew the 
routine well, and the thought of it sickened her. 

In that supreme moment a wonderful flood of pity for 
the father she had forsaken filled her heart. No thought of 
returning crossed her mind, but she wept and murmured 
pitiftilly, * Poor daddy.' It was so hard to be honest, 
she could forgive him now, she could pardon him for all 
he had ever made her suffer. Then she cast herself into 
the sullen tide and floated away. 

The cold thrill of the water roused all the life that was 
in her, and with a frantic effort she stretched out her 
hands. But the marshy banks, the shmy rushes, eluded 
her grasp, receded as she drifted onwards. 

The momentary struggle was over. The gurgling 
waves lapped her and laved her with a mesmeric touch 
that lulled her to rest. Softly crooning, came the lullabye 

VOL. I. Q 


the dead mother had snng in the days long gone by. A 
sweet, strange melancholy enshrouded the image of the 
father still striving and fighting to Hve in that ^-away 
world, ignorant of this sublime rest that had come to the 

A dull thud, a sharp pain, something that stopped the 
lulling motion of the waves, and caused a discordant jar in 
the low sweet wail of the kindly river, something that 
impeded for a moment that drifting repose. Again she 
floated on, again the death-song soothed her. 

Not a heavy, dull thud this time, not a sharp pain. 
Something soft and swaying rocked her to and fro. Then 
faces loomed dim and visionary upon her, voices sounded 
in her ears. 

What was it ? Ah ! she knew. The end was coming, 
and her mind was wandering. 

Soft hands held her tight, a voice that was sweetly, 
sadly familiar breathed her name : ' Jenny ! dear Jenny !' 
Were the old days of Jenny Joy come back, was that E[ate 
calling her to save her ? Yes, that was E[ate*s fece and 
eyes. Did she want her ? Was she in trouble ? Yes, 
Kate was calling her, to help her, it must be. 

* Jenny dear ! dear Jenny ! ' 

Wanted her to help, to save her. She roused herself 
with a supreme effort, then the voice wailed far, fer away, 
the fiace feuied. Again she felt the cold river close round 
her, and all was peace. 




The dawn came, cold and chill and drear. Down on the 
marshy banks wandered a honseless vagrant. Who else 
indeed would be there, and at such an hour ? Who that 
had house or home or friend would walk there in the cold 
early morning, drenched with the rain of the night that 
made the rags cling heavily to the thin figure ? Who that 
did not fear policemen, aye, even the passing glance of the 
stray labourer, would plunge recklessly into that damp 
loam that nourished the reeds here ? 

Looking around now and then she plodded through the 
innumerable pools rather than face the streets in the 
coming day. Walking feebly and languidly, she stumbled 
over something cold and wet. Stooping down in the im- 
perfect light to examine, she found the body of a girl 
thrown there by the river tide, and entangled in the reeds, 
with a great gash in the head. Someftiomeless, hopeless 
vagrant like herself, no doubt. She turned the inert mass 
reverently and fearfully, as the streaks of light in the east 
struggled into a dim existence, and a fearful cry went up 
from that river side. 

* Jenny ! dear Jenny ! ' 

No answer ; only a fitful smile that the mocking light 
caused to play about the white, drawn Hps. 

* Jenny, dear ! dear Jenny ! ' 

The fitful smile died away as the light became clearer, 
and only the cold, still face with the ghastly gash looked up 
at her. 



A black mass loomed higher up the river ; it came 
nearer and nearer. 

* This is the place. I say, lend a hand, you, there, and 
make the rope fast,' shouted the master of the cargo boat. 

* Not here, not here,' shrieked the girl ; * not over her 
dead body.' 

* Get out of the way then, if you don't want to be keel- 

It was coming, coming against the reeds and rushes. 
Great Heaven, the boat ! 

It came, but only brushed the reeds, and a man jumped 
over the side into the wet marshy soil. 

' Tell ye what, mate ; here's a go. Dead as a herrin'.' 

' Help me to carry her,' said the vagrant humbly. * I 
can't let her stay here.' 

* Where to, my girl ? ' 

* I don't know. Anywhere out of this.' 

* To the hospital ? ' 

* Yes, if you please.' 

The man with the assistance of a comrade placed the 
form on a piece St sailcloth. Close to the river was a 
house where lights were burning in an upper window. 
With a sudden thought Kate attacked the door, begging 
the kindly sailors to wait just one minute. It was the 
workshop where some half-dozen wretched women eked out 
their day's pay by working all night when work was plenty. 
One of them answered the hurried summons. 

* It's so far to the hospital. Give me a drop of some- 
thing for the love of Heaven ; maybe she's not dead.' 

The woman gave one glance at the cold face looking up 
unmoved at the morning ; then she rushed upstairs. 
*0h, Mrs. Kjieadwell, she has drownded herself.' 


' Who, who F ' demanded the mistress, wakened by the 
noise. ' What is it ? ' 

' Jenny Joy is dead.' 

The woman turned pale, then went down to the sailors 
and asked what they wanted there, 

'Not much, ma'am, if so be as ye'll let us take the poor 
little creature in for a minute, and maybe ye'd lend us a 
blanket, and get a spoonful of spirits. Have you a sofe. 
anywhere handy ? No ? Well, a table will do.' 

*But she's dead, isn't she?' exclaimed the woman, 

Two of the girls more pitiful than the rest brought, 
the one a blanket, and the other some whiskey. Elate held 
out her hand for the latter, and lifting the head with its 
loosened black hair she moistened the lips and poured a 
little into the mouth. Then they wrapped the blanket 
round her, and one of the sailors rubbed the face and hands 
as vigorously as he dared with that ugly wound. But no 
sign of life came, and the wet, shivering wanderer moaned. 

' Not dead. I don't believe it.' 

* Was she anything to you ? ' one of the sailors asked. 
*A11 I had in the world. Oh, Jenny, brave, true,. 

generous Jenny, why should you die and not me ? ' 

A faint flutter, a stir of the pulse. Was that a sigh ?. 
With a wild cry the girl clasped her hands. 

* I knew she wasn't dead ; she couldn't be.' 

* Yes, she's got a little life in her yet. The sooner we 
get her to the hospital the better.' 

* Yes, yes, to the hospital ! I knew she couldn't be 






* Up and dressed ? ' and Dr. Dalzell's firm, stem brows 
knit ominonslj. He was not a man to look lightly on a 
trifling breach of discipline, and this was flagrant dis- 

She was not dressed in hospital livery either, that elf- 
like little witch who glared defiantly at the doctor. 

' How's this, Mrs. Watkins ? What does this mean ? 
I want to know, if yon please.' 

Mrs. Watkins who was passing stopped and dropped a 
cnrtsey to that awfol poHteness. It foreboded anything 
but polite conversation. 

' Law bless yon, sir, it's mad she was like to go if I 
hadn't given 'em.' 

* And what if she had, ma'am ? Which do yon think 
it's better — she should go mad or I ? Since it must be one 
or the other, upon which do you think it was fitting your 
choice should fall? Perhaps you will feivour me with 
your views on the subject-^your candid opinion, ma'am, if 
you please.' 

* Dear heart alive, doctor. It's not yourself 'd go and 
get mad. I'd back ye again the town for that.' 

' But I tell you I am mad, ma'am, and veiy good cause 
I have to be mad.' 

* Sure it's not contradicting ' 

' Indeed ? I suppose, then, what you mean to insinuate 
is that it's impossible for me to be any more deranged. It's 


on a piece with the rest of your behaviour in this hospital. 
Now, don't snivel ! Don't ! I'm mad enough, I tell you.' 

Mrs. Watkins wiped her eyes with her big apron while 
the doctor underwent an electric shock. 

' Mad ? I believe you.' 

Not from the cringing nurse came the scornful tones 
that gave such force to the words. 

* Sure it's truth ye say, every word of it, barrin' what's 
lies ; ' and the elf's eyes laughed up at the big, burly 
man with contemptuous audacity. * What's the sense of 
your having it out with her, when it's me that done it ? 
I tell you if she hadn't give me the clothes, it's not mad 
I'd have gone, but it's stark staring mad I'd ha' driven 
her and you too.' 

' You would, you little reprobate ? Do you know who 
you're talking to ? ' 

There was a sudden change from defiance to humility. 

' Sure, sir, it's not myself would forget your kindness. 
Don't think that. Only, if you please, don't scold other 
people when it's aU me.' 

' Oh, that's it, is it ? You're going to rub me up, and 
slither me down. Well, do you know, it won't do. I'm 
not a horse.' 

* Sure sir, they do it to donkeys too,' Jenny said 

' Indeed ? Well, perhaps you'll be good enough to tell 
me what's the meaning of this. Why are my orders 
flatly disregarded ? If you have no objection, I should 
enjoy knowing.' 

' I'm going out, sir.' 

* You are ? And who gave you leave ? ' 

* My leave, sir, is just that I can't stay.' 


' No ? So you are going. Back to tlie river ? ' 
' No, sir,' she said eagerly, * to Kate.' 

* And I presume Kate is the young female who brought 
you here ? ' 

' Yes, sir.' 

* Bright pair.' 

' It's no good I am,' Jenny said, her eyes flashing, 
'but don't talk of her. You know nothing about her, 
only that she's poor ; and what right have you to say of 
her what you wouldn't say of a lady in her carriage ? 
And she's a lady too ; bom one.' 

' So I should imagine,' the doctor said with grim 
irony. * And it was this young lady counselled you to 
disobey me ? ' 

' No, sir, oh, no. But how can I lie in my bed and 
think that Kate is hungry ? That's why I want to go, sir ; 
I must work for her.' 

* You were pretty hungry when you came here ? ' 
' Yes, and maybe Kate is now. I must go.' 

*You were hungry. Good. You didn't refuse your 
food, I presume ? ' 

' No.' 

'You were hungry because you had nothing to eat. 
That's about ifc, eh ? ' 

' Yes, sir.' 

* And so as you couldn't feed one, it'll be the easiest 
thing in the world to feed two. You're a logical young 
woman, you are.' 

* I could do for Kate what I couldn't do for inyself ; ' 
and her cheeks burned, and her eyes flashed with the 
eagerness of the thought. 

* Get into bed, get into bed. Do you think I'm not up 


to your dodges ? Pray who gave you the charge of that 
young woman ? ' 

' It's just this, sir. It's a weak little creature she is, 
just a lady born as I told you, if she had only the fine 
clothes. She not as strong as me, never was ; she'd be no 
good to work by herself.' 

' I comprehend. She's not handy with spoons, etc. 
No. She hasn't the look of it.' 

* She's no thief,' said the girl with passionate vehe- 
mence, * and if she was, what have you to say about it ? 
Who is it makes thieves but honest people like you ? 
Woidd one of you stretch out your little finger to help 
her to be respectable? Suppose she could work, woxdd 
you give her some ? ' 

' I'd rather not try.' 

' And then you talk and you call her a thief, as if that 
was the worst name you could call her because she's poor. 
But I've been to church lately, and I tell you I've learnt 
worse words than that, and Pharisee is one of them.' 

* You're a clever young woman, very, but you don't 
disobey me if you were as clever again. Supposing I 
credited that you want to work for a girl that's got two 
hands the same as you, afber having demonstrated, too, 
that you are unable to work for yourself, what am I to say 
to the magistrate when he sends to know why you 
attempted to commit suicide ? ' 

'Who says I did? Who saw me? How do you 
know but some one shoved me in ? ' 

' You're a clever young woman, I say again. But there 
t her proofs beside seeing.' 

* And supposin' I threw myself iu, who's to say again' 
it ? What's it to anybody what I do with myself? ' 


' Is it possible you do not realise the enormity of yoar 
oflfence ? Why that's just the very thing that's everything 
to everybody.' 

* Sure I can do what I like with myself ? ' and the 
black eyes stared incredulously at the orbs that twinkled so 
puzzlingly under the beetle brows. 

* Do what you like with yourself? I should think not. 
That's just the very thing you can't do. Do you know 
that there is a law against suicide? A law which you 
have broken. Just think of that.' 

* Is there any law to prevent me starving ? ' 

* To be sure, plenty. Poor-house laws and the deuce 
knows what.' 

* An' what was the good of me goin' to a poor-house, 
sir ? Every time I came out I'd be as bad as now, an' if I 
went often they'd get sick of me. An' even if they didn't, 
do you think I could live always that way ? I couldn't — I 
wouldn't. Besides, it wouldn't be a bit honester than 
picking pockets.' 

' I'm afraid you're a very, very wicked girl,' the 
doctor said with great sternness. ' But as you talk about 
honesty, I suppose you know there is a Deity ? ' 

' Yes. It's long I knew His name, at any rate.' 

* Well, then, my girl, do you know that life is His best 
gift to man ? Life now, life always. Do you know that 
to touch that is the worst crime in the land ? To touch 
your own, the worst against Him, because it admits of no 

She looked at him without comprehending. 

* Sure, sir, that's all very well for rich people. Besides, 
I can't help it.' 


' But surely you liave read something about Heaven 
and Hell ? ' 

*No, sir, and it wouldn't make any difference if I did.' 
' You know notLing of a future state ? ' 

* Except that we'll all bum, and you'll all have grand 

* Is that all you know of a good God ? ' 
' That's aU.' 

' And you talk of being honest ? You told me that 
it was in your struggle for respectability you came to such 

The fire was quenched in the tears that welled up in the 
great sad eyes. 

' Oh yes, sir, my mother was honest, my mother was 
respectable. That's why.' 

' You benighted little pagan,' exclaimed the doctor 
gruffly. *And while I'm wasting my time enlightening 
you, my patients are waiting. Here, Mrs. Watkins, give 
this outrageous rebel a wrap. She shan't catch cold till 
I've time to punish her. What time do you expect that 
other scapegrace ? ' 

' Can't say, sir ; she's been here four times to-day.' 

* And you never told me,' burst out Jenny resentfully. 
'Maybe she won't come any more. Maybe she can't. 
Maybe she's sick, dying, dead. What'll I do P ' 

* Why, go to her. You're going, you know.' 

* Yes, I am. An army wouldn't keep me ; but where'll 
I find her ? Oh, if she's dead, I'll some back to you I 
will, an' I'll drive you mad in good earnest.' 

* Very good. If she should come you'll let me know, 
Mrs. Watkins. And, Mrs. Watkins — ^isn't there a cup of 
broth to spare anywhere ? ' 


* Sure it's the good heart you have, doctor ' — and Mrs. 
Watkins tised her apron again — *and to think of your 
having patience through all that.' 

* Patience ! Good Heavens, -ma'am, I haven't a scrap, 
hot a shaving, I assure you, and least of all with snivelling. 
Don't — don't do it. Or, yes, do ; fire away. I'm going ; 
and you'll very likely be finished before I'm back.' 

It was dusk when Kate ventured again, and she was 
confronted by Dr. Dalzell. 

* Well, young woman ? ' 

She shrank a step back from the burly doctor, and he 
advanced two. 

* I only want to know how is Jenny,' said the singu- 
larly low sweet voice. 

* And pray who is Jenny ? ' 

* Jenny Joy, sir. Her that came here this morning.' 

* No one came here this morning. A deluded young 
female was brought here after attempting to drown herself. 
Is it that hopeful young person you came about ? I thought 
so. And aren't you ashamed of yourself even to know 
such a character ? But you don't know her much, I sup- 
pose ? I hope so, at least.' 

* Oh yes, I do, sir,' and the worn thin face glowed, and 
the scant rags swelled out as though they covered a form 
of nobleness, not a shivering, fleshless wanderer. *Sure, 
sir, she's the best finend ever I had. It's not ashamed of 
knowin' her I'd be, and her a thousand times better than 
me, a thousand times grander and braver and kinder than 
anybody I ever knew.' 

*As to bravery, I admire yours. To talk that way 
about a girl who wanted to drown herself. But perhaps 
you can give the reason for that, as you know her so well ? ' 


* It wasn't a bad one, that I know. I know Jenny, sir, 
I do, indeed ; and if she wanted to die it was because she 
wouldn't be a thief.' 

* If she wanted ? Didn't you see her do it*? ' 

* No, sir ; I found her in the rushes.' 

* You mean to tell me that you didn't advise her to jump 
into the river ? ' 

* Me ? No, sir. I'm too much afeard.' 

* You never tried it ? ' 

* I daren't,' and she shivered. * I was always a poor 
coward ; never like Jenny.' 

* Is it only because you were afraid that you never 
tried it?' 

* Yes, sir. I often wished to ; but, as I told you, I was 
always a coward.' 

* Well, well, well. Live and learn, they say, but I never 
learnt so much in a day. You're a bright pair, one as bad 
as the other. It's all very well thrusting this rigmarole 
down my throat, but what do you mean to tell the magis- 
trate ? ' 

She stared blankly at him. He grasped her by the 
shoulder as with a wild instinct she receded, and the old 
hunted look came in her eyes, the old pain at her heart. 
He could not sustain the sight of that ashen face. 

* Ah ! that strikes home, does it ? And not a bit of 
flesh on your bones ! Deiai*, dear, that such a scarecrow 
should break the laws of the land.' 

* What are you doing to her ? ' demanded a fierce hiss- 
ing voice, very low down. He looked down with a comical 
admiration at the little lithe figure, the blazing eyes and 
heaving chest. 

* Oh, it's you, spitfire. Out here too without orders. 


Here, you Jim, into the pantry there, and tell Mrs. Watkins 
I want the dose I told her for these rebels. I'm with yon. 
I'll dose you, and teach you to rebel against a disciple of 
Galen. And, good gracious, I wonder could she spare 
another wrap ? ' 

Jim returned with the soup, but without the wrap. 

' None ? I suppose not. Jim, there's an old dressing- 
gown in my room. Suppose you get that.' 

Jenny caught the spirit of the scene, and laughed and 
cried alternately, but Kate sat eating her soup in a timid, 
frightened way, glancing now and then at the doctor, who 
kept guard like a great ogre at the door. 

* Will he send me to gaol ? ' she whispered fearfully. 
The ogre caught the whisper. 

* If you were worth it I would. But what's the good 
of trying to do anything with a little skin and bone like 
you ? Pray how many meals a day do you take ? Three ? 
Tell the truth. Not three, two, one? And you're not 
ashamed to sit there and confess it ? ' 

The girl stared at him, completely terrified, but Jenny 
went up to him. 

' Good-bye, sir, and thank you for everything, but sure 
Kate's soup was the best of it all. Don't be angry, if you 
please, sir, for me going.' 

* Why not?' 

* Because you see, sir. Elate is by herself, and you see 
yourself what a weak little creature she is. She wants 
some one to take care of her.' 

* You're a fine big protector,' he exclaimed, looking 
down at the elf, who never in all her life looked more 
elfish. * But it's a good job you're going, or you'd have 
every patient in the ward demoralised. That woman up- 


stairs never snivelled so mucli in her life as since you came. 
Don't you take off that dressing-gown, or 1*11 put you in 
the insane ward.' 

A policeman suddenly stood under the gas lamp in the 
hall. He was making enquiries of the porter. Kate 
turned deadly white as she clutched Jenny's arm. The 
sight of her livid terror was too much for the doctor, and 
he hastily slammed the door of the refectory, which led 
into the hall, and opened another. 

' Here, this way, through that room, there's another 
door, and a hall, and a door at the end of the hall. You'll 
come out in the garden, then go round the house.' 

They were gone almost before he had finished. 




Robert Dalzell walked slowly along the new road as it 
was called — the road which lay between Kilcoran and 
Ross. He looked dreamily on the world of verdure that 
lay around him, the endless fields, stretching up to the 
very blue tops of the hills that rose in countless tiers on 
either side that marvellously luxuriant valley, with its 
wonderful vivid green, its snowy sheep, its clumps and 
belts of dark trees not yet stripped of their autumn 

He looked down suddenly into a pair of dark piercing 



eyes that looked up at him and startled him for a moment 
out of his self-possession. He had not noticed these two 
children coming towards him, tiU he literally looked down 
into the face of the one. They might have started up out 
of the ground for aught he knew. 

He stood and looked after them with a strange feeling 
of curiosity, then continued his walk till the evening air 
became chill and sharp enough to induce him to turn and 
make for home at a more vigorous pace. 

Close to the town he came again upon the children. 
There was nothing picturesque in their attire or appear- 
ance that night to shake the painter's soul ; there was not 
surely any romance to a grey-haired man to whom success 
had come too late in the sight of two barefooted, thinly- 
clad girls, entering what might be a strange town, a 
new world, or might be just the market-place they had 
been accustomed to all their lives. Yet with the same 
indefinable curiosity he had felt at first he watched them now. 

They went into the first small shop they came to, but 
before he had come up they emerged, empty-handed, and 
the next was tried evidently with no better success. 

What could they want ? Every shop was tried, espe- 
cially clothing and drapery shops of all descriptions, the 
painter following mechanically, his wonder at them and 
himself increasing each moment. The night closed in, and 
now not a house with any pretensions to respectability was 
passed without some petition, he could not tell what, being 
preferred ; and he could see, as he waited for them to come 
up, that the gas lamps flared down on a sickly. disappoint- 
ment that was creeping over the young faces. 

Nine o'clock struck, and Mr. Dalzell had had no dinner. 
His feet began to be very sore, and he thought theirs must 


be too. He began to feel htingry, and be guessed they 
must be the same. Why did they go wandering about like 
that, making their and his feet sore ? 

* Never mind, my dear ; never mind, my colleen,' said a 
brave, but a weak, little voice ; and he could see the great 
black eyes upturned to the other's face, with a wonderful 
light of hope and courage shining in them that not hunger 
nor that gloomy night could quell. * It's only for to-night, 
my dear ; to-morrow we must get work, surely.' 

* I don't mind a bit ; ' and the pale, sweet face smiled 
down with answering bravery. * Sure it's no worse for 
me than for you.' 

* Oh, yes, my dear, it is,' said the little creature ; * but 
it's better, anything is better, than going back to the old Hfe.' 

* Yes,' said Kate. * Anything, even to die. No matter 
how you see me, never think I want to go back.' 

The rain, that had been holding off all the afternoon, 
suddenly pelted down on these houseless vagrants ; pelted 
as rain only pelts ragged, miserable creatures and cotton 
umbrellas. They took shelter under the portico of a 

' If they would only let us stay here,' Jenny said, * how 
comfortable we'd be ! But you'll see the policeman'll be 
round directly, just as if he smelt us.' 

* Why don't you go home, children ? ' 

In the darkness Jenny could only discern a tall figure, 
but the voice was kind and sounded familiar. With the 
instinct of her class she knew it belonged to a gentleman. 

* We've nowhere to go, sir.' 

* Nowhere ? ' 

*No, and we're waiting here till the rain stops a bit ; 
then we'll go on.* 

VOL. I. R 


* Go on where ? * 

' Walk about till momin'. You see, sir, the policeman 
won't let us stand still.' 

* Good heavens ! Have you no lodgings even ? ' 

* Why ? No money ? ' 

* No ; ' and there was a desponding ring in the voice 
now. * WeVe hunted for work ever since five o'clock, and 

•couldn't get a bit. If we could get work to do, we could 
promise to pay for lodgings.' 

' How do you mean to manage now ? ' 

* We must put up with it to-night. Sure, to-morrow 
some one will give us work to live.' 

* You don't lose heart, then ? ' 

* Sure, no, sir,' ' and the voice was brisk and cheery 
again ; ' and if we do, it comes back again.' 

He put some money in her hand. 

* That wiQ pay for shelter to-night, and you can work 

* Oh, sir, sir, we're* not beggars ; indeed, we're not. 
Won't you let us do something for this ? ' 

* I don't give it to you as beggars. I give it as from 
one human being to another in distress, as I would wish 
anyone to give it to me did I want it.' 

He was gone, and the children, scarcely crediting their 
good fortune, made their way to a humble lodging-house, 
and found they could indulge in a bed and a supper. 

The next day was wet, but that did not deter Jenny 
from going to look for work, nor Kate either. They tried 
every soft goods shop in the town, whether they had tried 
it before or not ; then they offered themselves as servants, 
but no one would have anything to do with them in that 


capacity, for Kate looked too delicate, and Jenny too like a 
witch. Then they retnmed to the charge on the soft goods 
shops and private honses, and at last fairly wearied out the 
town people by their persistent demands for work. 

Inch by inch the children fought their way. Fainting 
often beneath the burden of a hidden past ; starving often 
before the closed doors of their wealthier brethren ; shiver- 
ing in the cold chill of suspicious inquisitiveness, that 
threw a blight on all they did or attempted to do. 

Yet no, not on all. Some little ground they made as 
the weary days went by. Some place was found for them in 
the great world of workers, who, though so noble, so praise- 
worthy in many respects, are apt to look arrogantly and su- 
perciliously on those who have not always been of them. 

Jenny was a better worker now than when she .first set 
out to look for her fortune and become honest. She pro- 
cured a little work after having been denied times innu- 
merable, just when all her resources, even of endurance, 
were exhausted ; when she and Kate must have lain down 
in the street and died if help had not come. 

Robert Dalzell felt some regret that he had not taken 
some steps towards seeing the children again. He knew 
enough of them, in that dreary afternoon wandering, to 
feel that they were neither beggars nor impostors. But 
would they faint at the outset of the weary journey 
so bravely begun ? Or would they carry their burden, in 
spite of flinty roads and bleeding feet, till it was taken 
from them by the hand of a very merciful Father, and 
a voice bid them rest sweetly till the great awaking ? 
Would they have strength for that, these weak, small 
children ? Why had he not secured the means of helping 
them more effectually ? 

B 2 


It was thus his thoughts were running, when a shrill 
voice arrested him, and a tiny bunch of moss roses brushed 
against his sleeve. 

* If you please, sir.' 

He looked down into the dark eyes that he had seen a 
fortnight before. 

* What ? Are you turned to selling roses ? ' he said, 
with a kindly smile, as he stretched out his hand for the 
fragrant flowers. 

* No, sir ; but, if you please, those are for you.* 

* For me ? ' 

*Tes, won't you keep them? I took a present from 
you, sir.' 

She looked so much in earnest that he could not 
refuse, and her face absolutely flashed with satisfaction. 

* Thank you, sir,' she said, as humbly as if she had 
received a kingdom. 

' But stay a moment, I want to speak to you.' 

* Oh, Fve got work now, sir, and all through you. 
You see, that money kept us till we were able to fairly 
badger the people into trying us, and now we're to get 
work regular.' 

* What is your name ? ' 

* Jenny Joy.' 

*Well, Jenny Joy, I think you're a brave little girl, 
and I like these flowers very much. I shall take care of 
them for your sake. But how did you know me ? ' 

*I know you when we passed you on the road, and 
I guessed it was the same when you spoke to us.' 

* WTiy, where did you see me before ? ' 

* In church, sir. Don't you remember, we sat in your 
pew? ' 

In an instant it flashed before him ; the demure, 


reverent children, the sudden onslaught of the beadle, his 
own reflections as he walked home. 

' Then it didn't discourage you, that Sunday.' 

* No, sir, I ran away that week,' 

* Ran away ? ' 

* Yes, from where I was living.' 

'Ah, I understand. And since then you have been 
fighting your battle.' 

* Yes ; but bad, awful bad some of the time. I've got 
Kate now : if I had her before, I wouldn't have pitched 
myself into the river.' 

She saw Mr. Dalzell was inclined to think well of her, 
and she was resolved to let him know the enormity of her 
wickedness. The same royalty of nature that prompted 
her to spend a hardly-earned sixpence on a grateful present 
for the gentleman who had been kind to her, compelled 
her to decline his friendship when offered to anyone but 
the identical scapegrace, Jenny Joy, she felt herself to be. 
She saw the horrified look on his face, but she did not 
repent her temerity. It was better he should know the 
truth than keep on calling her brave, and giving her 
credit for fighting, when she had, coward-like, run away. 

* Why did you do that ? ' 

She told him in her quaint dry fashion just the 
simple truth, and he listened and beh'eved. A sentiment of 
wonder took possession of her as she observed his belief, 
for before that desperate night, she had told her story of 
poverty, her wish for honesty, to so many, and met with 
only hard incredulity that would be moved by no facts. 

* I see after all I was not wrong in sayiag you were a 
brave little girl. How should you know that what is 
put upon us it is our duty to bear, that if we are bidden 


to starve we must not seek to rid ourselves of life in 
some quicker way ? It is a hard doctrine.' 

It certainly seemed not only very hard, but very odd too, 
to Jenny. She didn't comprehend it, nor did she want to. 

* That mustn't happen again, Jenny Joy,' he said. 

* Oh no; I've got lots of work now, and then I've got 
Kate. It's not likely I'd go off with myself, and she 
wanting to be took care of. Bless you, she couldn't do 
without me now.' 

* Well, you're not very rich just yet, so this is a little 
present to help pay the rent.' 

But the sallow face flushed as with the air of an indig- 
nant duchess she stepped back. 
' You don't think ' 

* No, I don't. I know quite well you didn't expect it, 
but it's no harm to accept a present.' 

* Yes, sir, it would be harm, it would be mean, when 
I've work. I was a thief once, but I never was mean.' 

* I can believe that,' he said, feeling he had done 
wrong. * I should only wish to help you on a little.' 

*No, sir, while I've work, I won't take nobody's 
charity ; but if I was ever starving again, there's no one 
I'd like to help me as much as you.' 

* And I took a present from you.' 

' That ? ' and she pointed to the roses, * that's only a 
few flowers, sir ; they wouldn't be worth looking at, only 
I wanted to show you I wasn't so ungrateful.' 

* Well, if you should come to such dire distress again, 
come to me.' 

' Oh, but I don't think I will,' she said with elfish 
cheeriness. * It's work I've got, and I'll stick to it.' 

* That's right, but in case of any accident, my name is 
Eobert Dalzell.' 


* Robert Dalzell ? ' repeated the girl, in a sort of stupor, 
and great tears welled up in her eyes. * The man who loved 
my mother.' 

It never struck her that there could be another Robert 
Dalzell, and she repeated the words slowly, her dark eyes 
fixed on his face, her two small hands clasped. The houses 
and the carts and the busy people faded firom her sight. 
She saw only the face of the dead mother, and the man 
who had loved her even to the end ; so she stood immov- 
able. The pale face with the deep lines qxdvered like 
autumn leaves stirred by the strong wind. 

* I thought you said your name was Jenny Joy ? ' 
'It's Joice; only we used to play Jenny Joy, and I 

thought it an honester name.' 

This, then, was Susie Longford's child, the daughter of 
a common thief. 

He questioned her like a man in a dream, and found 
that Susie, simple innocent Susie, whose woman's heart 
had made such a wof ul choice, had never forgotten the 
man who had loved her so truly ; that she had recognised 
under every disguise the hand that supplied her with com- 
forts ; that the knowledge of his kindness had comforted 
her on her dying bed. 

* And oh, sir,' continued the elf, * I used to say that if 
ever I could get away to be honest I'd search the wide 
world till I found you, to serve you, to shield you from 
every danger.' 

He looked down at the tiny figure that oflfered to pro- 
tect him, and a smile crept over his face. But it was not 
a satirical smile. There was nothing satirical about the 
man, though he had lived to suffer when youth and love 
were strong, though wealth and fame had come upon him, 


together with premature old age and a desolate heart. 
His smile was like himself — ^kindly, gentle, and genial ; it 
lightened with a pleasant light a fece naturally noble, ren- 
dered still more noble by suffering; deeply seamed and 
ftirrowed, with the broad intellectual brow, the deep clear 
grey eyes that had no false glitter lurking in their depths. 
His mouth had not lost the mobile expression of sweetness 
that had rested on it when youth was at its brightest, when 
the future seemed so heavy laden with honours, not cares, 
with dignities, not stumbling-blocks. 

' I know I'm very small, sir,' said Jenny deprecatingly, 
and looking humbly at herself as though her hands and 
feet were something very wicked indeed to account for ; 
' but I would give my whole life to serve you. I would, 
indeed, for you loved my mother.' 

It never struck her that she pained him ; that she was 
compelling his dead to walk forth from their resting-places 
in their ghastly cerements; that she was bringing him 
face to face with a past that could never be recalled, save 
in such mocking phantom guise, a past upon which he 
had manftdly turned his back long ago. He did not permit 
her to see it, only the brightness faded out of his smile, 
leaving but the kindly gentleness. 

* I think you would,' he said, comprehending by some 
wondrous sympathy how much there was of good and 
noble in this poor untutored girl. Some magnetism, some 
marvellous clairvoyance, not given to the common herd, 
told him that struggling, stumbling aU her life, she had 
yet some divine conception of a light beyond. 





Six months had come and gone. Six months of unremit- 
ting toil, privation, struggling, to the two little outcasts, 
who were — ^never mind how slowly, how laboriously — 
winning for themselves a name and fame as members of 
the honest poor. 

The honest poor. Where shall we find genius to embalm 
in idyllic verse the surpassing beauty of their lives ? Where 
shall we find an epic poem worthy of their self-sacrifice, 
their heroism, their grandeur of design, and faithfulness of 
execution ; not showing out as the sensational event against 
a background of commonplace self-indulgence, but daily, 
hourly, interwoven with their simplest actions and meanest 
duties ? 

The battle was not over. Oh, no, nothing like* It 
was not even much easier than when Jenny had fotight it 
single-handed in the Dublin attic. But they never gave 
in, never would know when they were beaten, these two 
ignorant children from the Thieves' Latin. 

But an epic should have victories and triumphs as well 
as sacrifices and noble deeds. And think you it was no 
triumph when from a suspicious townspeople, out of the 
very teeth of a gaunt starvation, they had wrenched money 
to pay for two new dresses to go to church in ? Think you 
it was no victory worth recording, when the simple, kindly 
grey-haired minister found his way to the bare bleak home 


of his new parishioners, and spoke to them as though ihej 
had never been thieves and the children of thieves ? 

Neither when work was slack or when work was plenty 
conld the painter prevail on Miss Joice to accept the smallest 
aid. The indomitable resolution might be pride or might 
be principle, but it was not to be shaken. Mr. DalzeU 
had come and gone many a time, but he never came with- 
out seeking out the attic where sat the two patient workers. 
Think you it was nothing to be proud of, that this gentle- 
man, whose charity they would not accept, was content to 
come as a Mend, to do them what good he might in quiet, 
unostentatious fashion, as though they were real ladies ? 
And that good was no little, for every new idea, every noble 
principle, every grand lesson fell into hungry little ears, 
craving for a light and knowledge they had never heard of 
by some mysterious instinct of an immortal nature. 

He wanted to pay for tuition at night, that they might 
be able to fight their battle without such fearful odds against 
them ; but they forestalled him in their humble fashion. A 
couple of pence per week gained them admission to a night- 
school kept by a wooden-legged veteran, and no argument 
would induce them to change to a more expensive estab- 

It was very pleasant when, as now, the nature of their 
employment allowed the two vagrants — ^vagrants no longer 
— to sit together. Coarse work it was, and not over well 
paid, but its rewal'd was independence ; and the thin fingers 
sewed away without flagging, while the busy brains went 
over and over the nightly lessoi^s. 

* Bid, b-i-d ; bide, b-i-d-e ; funny, isn't it ? * 

* Sure it's fanny, entirely,' said Miss Joice ; * an' if it 
wasn't that it's so respectable to read, I'd pitch the book 


at that old man. It's not enough for him to have a wooden 
leg, but he must have a wooden head too. He wants to 
make out that p-h is f^ and that he didn't tell me flat the 
other night that r-e-a-d spells read, and now he wants me 
to know it's red.' 

* I wish I could remember all he says,' sighed Kate 

* How could you, when he says one thing one time and 
another thing another ? It's more nor he can do himself.' 

* Do you think I'll ever read, Jenny ? ' 

' You ? Of course. It'll come natural to you, and I'm 
bound to do it, 'cos I must.' 

' Conning your lessons ? ' said a pleasant voice. 

They had not known Mr. Dalzell intended to returi^ 
to Ross. He had not, however, many minutes to spare ; a 
grand exhibition of magic lantern was to be given to the 
school children at the town hall that night, and he wanted 
his two little friends to come too. 

What a night that was ! Mr. Dalzell was the chief pro- 
moter of the treat, and at the request of the committee 
said a few words to the children on the last view — a scene 
from the Holy Land, which he had visited not long before. 
He took out his watch and laid it on the table before 
him, giving himself just five minutes. But, somehow, 
talking to those eager-faced children was pleasanter work 
than he had anticipated. He warmed with the subject, 
and forgot not only the time but the watch. 

He summoned the two little workers to the platform 
when the room was cleared, intending to explain to curious 
Jenny some of the wonderful things that evidently puzzled 
her. He thought this very desultory sort of education 
might be better than none ; but just as he had begun, a 


gentleman leaving town next morning button-holed him, 
and drew him outside the large room. He told the girls to 
wait till he should return, and they stood there patiently, 
though everyone else had gone. 

They were not tired ; they had so much to talk about, 
these wondering children. 

' It's queer we don't see them,' Jenny said, in a puzzled 
tone, * such big things as they were, right from here to 

She stopped — her eyes, her hand, transfixed in the 


direction of the window. The light had been turned up 
after the last view, and plain as in daylight was that face 
set in the window to Jenny's gaze. It was a smooth, oily 
^ce, with a malicious grin, slimy and slippery. 

* Jenny, what is it ? ' 

Without a word Jenny darted forward to the open 

* He's gone round to the door. Quick, Kate ! ' 
' Who ? What ? ' 

* Up here, and drop down quiet ; then run for your life.' 
She had already drawn a bench under the window, and 

pushed Elate up. 

* Mind you run. I'll keep him here, and if I don't go 
to you, manage without.' 

She pushed the girl out, fastened the window, and 
stood with her back to it, as the Otter reached the open 

' Where's the other ? ' he demanded, grasping his 
daughter's arm securely. 

She did not answer, but looked defiantly at him. 

* Te won't, eh ? Well, I've got you, and let him look 
out for his girl.' 


* Father/ she said, almost for the first time in her life, 
* leave me here. What do you want me back for ? ' 

* Leave you ? Leave you to him ? * he hissed, a cruel 
look indenting the slimy face. 'Didn't I see him, and 
don't I know him ? Oh, I'll pay him out for taking you 
from your father. I'll make him rue it.' 

* Him take me ? You're mad. I came away myself.' 
'Well, you won't stay. Come on.' 

*0h, father!' and no rebellious defiance marked the 
pain inflicted by his stem grip, *let me be; sure I'm 
no use to you, and I'm so comfortable here. Let me stay 
among honest people, and be one of them ; don't take me 
back to the Thieves' Latin. I pray for you every day 
and every night, but I couldn't do it there. And oh, it's 
so hard to get a footin' ; don't drag me back, or I'd never 
have the heart to begin all over again.' 

* Stop yer palaver, and come on. D'ye think the fellow 
that worked at the same clay models as me, that made my 
wife grumble at her husband 'cos he didn't wheedle the 
money out of people's pockets so fine — d'ye think I'm going 
to let him convert you too ? ' he hissed, his face disfigured 
with the envy of a mean, low nature, goaded to madness 
by the thought of another's good fortune. He who had 
squandered all his good gifts, his precious youth, with a 
reckless hand, was not only dissatisfied with the returns in 
the shape of self-indulgences, but was furious that he was 
not still as rich as the man whose life had been one long, 
sometimes bitter lesson of self-denial. 

The pleading look gave way to one the Otter had been 
more accustomed to in the old days — a defiant hate, a burn- 
ing rage. 

* I tell you, Joe Joice, it's better for ye to let me go. I'll 


curse jcfn. every hour of m j life, mind that m make you 
me the day you ever saw me.' 

* Win ye come, or will I go with ye home to yer lodg- 
in's ? Will I go to-morrow to every shop in the town and 
warn them again' Jenny Joice, the Otter's daughter? 
They'll trnst ye afther that, eh ? ' 

^ Eighteen months toiling and straggling for this ! ' she 
moaned, as she wrong her hands in passionate despair. 

He drew her across the room, hnt not to the door, to 
the tahle, where lay the watch. 

* Not that. I'll scream for help if ye killed me.' 
' Do. Inform ; it's all that's wantin'.' 

• ••••• 

When Mr. Dalzell returned he fonnd the hall empty. 
He had instructed the man in attendance not to clear the 
things away until he should call,' which he did now, con- 
cluding the two girls had become tired of waiting. Re- 
membering his watch, he went to the table. It was not 
there ; it was not under it, nor in fact anywhere about. A 
search was instituted, until at last Mr. Dalzell began to 
think Kate or Jenny must have taken it for safety. This 
was the only conclusion he could come to, for the man who 
waited to put out the lights had been employed in a back 
office the whole time he had been there speaking to Mr. 

It was late next day when he mounted the narrow stairs 
to the attic, where he found neither Kate nor Jenny, but a 
weak-eyed landlady who began to whine piteously at the 
sight of the gentleman. 

* Where are your lodgers ? ' he ejaculated. 

* Where, indeed ? That's just what I'd like to know ; 


and sorra a day's notice, much less a week, and me a lone 

* They're not gone. When ? How ? ' 

* They're just gone, sir. The witch never came back at 
all at all ; and t'other she raced in like mad, and bundled 
me the week's rent, like she's scared out of her life, and 
never a word of notice, only off wid her.' 

* Did she say nothing — cleave nothing ? ' 

* Sorra a thing but what you see,' and the whine 
increased alarmingly, *and sure I thought that'd be for 
the notice, and me a lone widdy.' 

That was all Mr. Dalzell heard of his watch. That 
was all Ross saw of the two vagrants. Owing to the 
search on the previous evening, it was soon widely circu- 
lated, in spite of the painter, that the black-eyed witch had 
run away with his watch. 



A CHANGE had come to Mossy Ingram, a change that was 
perceptible to everyone except Lord Ingram, but that 
was so plain to no one as to Mrs. Chirrup. To her it was 
startling, awfdl, terrible. By day she brooded and by 
night she wept over it. It took all the flavour out of her 
life, all the sweetness out of her length of days, and left 
her only the nauseous choking ashes. 

If Mossy Ingram had grown a hard unscrupulous 
intriguante, who was to blame ? If the nobility and ten- 


demess of her nature had degenerated into rank injustioe 
and despicable weakness, who was to blame ? If all her 
proud resolution had developed into relentless hardness, 
her cleverness into despicable schemes, her pretty childish 
Mvolity into an awful disregard of the laws of God and 
man, her love for admiration into a cruel determination to 
keep it at any cost, who was to blame ? Who, but the one 
whose sinful vehemence had nipped the girl's good reso- 
lutions in the bud, whose earthly idolatry had permitted 
her recklessly to implant the seeds of evil in a young soul ? 

Oh, the remorse of those bitter miserable days to the 
silver-haired fairy of Rosehill ! Oh, the bitfcemess of her 
repentance for those passionate words that had done so 
much incurable mischief ! 

Incurable ? Was there then no way in which she could 
appeal to this girl who had only too blindly obeyed her 
wishes ? None, none. She could not bring herself to 
accuse her godchild of an indistinct yet palpable crime, 
she herself being the direct instigator of that crime, or 
rather the cause, for in her passion she had said so much 
more than she had meant, so much more than she ever 
could mean. 

Ah ! but it is not so much what we mean but what we 
say, and not what we say but what we imply ; a truth that 
Mrs. Chirrup was learning now, sorely against her will. 

Yes, a change had come upon Miss Ingram — a change 
that some were slow to comprehend, but that everybody 
felt. And Eohan Blennerhasset was not slower of percep- 
tion than the everybodies. Have I not said he prided 
himself above all things on his keen penetration ? have I 
not said that he was wont to drag forth from their hiding- 
places the motives of men, and flinging aside the veil of 


actions, reveal them in all their hideous deformity ? How, 
then, should he fail to see that which was plain to the 
world ? 

He did see it, and it puzzled him sorely. Yes, though 
according to his reasoning it was the most natural thing 
for a flirt to show herself completely heartless in all things 
as in one. He had told himself over and over that Miss 
Ingram was just the frivolous, self-pampered creature to 
fall when temptation came, that she was a woman with 
just suflBcient cleverness to sin well, but not sufficient 
depth to be capable of genuine remorse, that she was as 
incapable of any great sacrifice to abstract principle 
as she was of any deep feeling for anything not purely 
sensual. • 

Why, then, should he be surprised at what he saw 
going on daily, at doings which gave him a key no one else 
possessed to the sudden change in the heiress of Ingram, 
as she still was, and was evidently determined she should 
be ? Why should he be surprised that this woman, whose 
shallow nature he had read in one night, whose life had 
been one unbroken lesson of self-indulgence, should 
become a plotter, a conspirator, a colleague of the scum of 
a police station, an author of vile plans to be carried out 
by viler people, that she should debase herself to the ranks 
of the unscrupulously dishonest, that she should put aside 
pity, mercy for the orphan, all sense of justice towards 
those who had right on their side, when such a line of 
conduct became necessary to preserve her position intact ? 

Oh, the vile plotting ! oh, the base schemes ! oh, the de- 
gradation of the companionship necessary to bring those 
plots and schemes to their horrid perfection ! But why 
should he be surprised ? 

VOL. I. S 


And yet the man was illogical enough to be very much 
surprised, though he was still more astonished at himself 
for being so. Had she thrown her glamour over his senses 
as well as his heart ? Had she bewitched him with her 
golden hair and shining eyes and shell- tinted cheeks ? 

Why had this horrid knowledge come to him ? Why 
had he not been allowed to preserve the little faith he had 
had in her ? or, else, why was he not content to believe all 
evil of her as well as other women ? He had not sought 
this knowledge, it had come to him, it continued coming, 
it would come in spite of him, and grew and spread 
until it became the very Upas tree of his life. 

In the saloons of the great, Beatrice Ingram once more 
asserted her position as the heiress, the baroness to be. 
With a haughty, cold scorn, that sat with a strange charm 
on her fair young face, she flung back with interest the 
premature slights of those who had treated her as deposed. 
With chilling disdain she received their covert apologies, 
a disdain that shone out visibly even in the smiles with 
which she lured them on to pour out their treasures for 
her amusement, to make themselves greater fools than ever 
to atone for having been wise too soon, to turn themselves 
into dancing dervishes, and romping philosophers, and 
hoyden preachers, and tolerant bigots, for the sweet sake 
of her whom they had been ready to trample on and spit 
at a few weeks before ; in the rampant contempt that ran 
riot in her mirth, her witticisms, her biting sarcasms, in 
her imperious demands upon their riches and time and 
talents and patience. 

Oh, the close of the season was better than the 
beginning, and it grew brighter and brighter for the heiress 
of Ingram, as no breath reached the great world of any 


chance of her reign being shaken. The impostor, * bare- 
faced thing,' and the madman with the mad story, were 
things of the past, and were forgotten, as it was only- 
polite to Miss Ingram they should be, buried in the hearts 
■of these exemplary Christians, to be revived at the first 
fitting opportunity. 

And Miss Ingram ? Well, she enjoyed herself, never 
better. Never in the first flush of her entrance into a 
fascinating society, had she so thoroughly enjoyed herself 
as now, amongst those people whom she so heartily 
despised. Great Heaven ! what amusement, what pleasure 
they afforded her, what stores of intellect and research 
they opened to her, what wealth of good things they 
displayed for her benefit, with what reckless profasion they 
scattered their riches before her ; these people who would 
not have stretched out their Httle fingers had they suspected 
her of wanting their aid. 

Oh, she had learnt to know them well in a little time. 
How her eyes had been opened under the cloud, how her 
sight had been sharpened, her perception quickened. How 
she had been made to realise what she had known before. 
In two short months she had been slighted and slurred, 
lovers had forgotten. Mends had remembered with pious 
horror the unprincipled creature who had passed herself 
off as an heiress, and her uncle's child alive. Oh, how 
she knew them, and how she despised them. 

How she used them, and how she abused them, though. 
How she flirted with ehgibles, and raised distracting hopes 
in the bosoms of younger sons, and laughed out her merry 
contempt at themselves and their charming mothers who 
for two whole months had been in a fevered agony, lest 
Fred should possibly ^cast a thought on that wretched 

s 2 


snub-nosed girl, who had nothing to recommend her, 
nothing at all, my dear,' or whether Frank ran the risk of 
still being ' subjected to the shameless wiles of that 
imscrupulous husband-hunter, who would marry anyone, 
anyone, positively, dear, that would have her * — a statement 
easy of belief, if referring to anyone guilty of laying traps 
for the said Frank. 

How she used them, and how she abused them. How 
she showered her smiles and encouragement on delightful 
mothers and dutiful sons, and played with them as a cat 
plays with a mouse, and pleased them just enough 
to make the succeeding indifferent hauteur, or stinging 
banter properly galling. How she stretched her exactions 
to the utmost limit, then receded with a mocking smile of 
thanks for their imbecile complaisance. 

Enjoy herself ? I should think so. And as I have 
said, never had she enjoyed herself so much. It was little 
wonder, after all, that she should, seeing that she was the 
most charming girl in the Viceregal court ; for she never 
suffered her ever visible disdain to become offensive, except 
when it suited her ; it seemed rather to give an enchanting 
piquancy to her beauty. But if she had? "Was she not 
still heiress of Ingram ? 

But she was a very charming young woman. Her con- 
tempt was so good-humoured; her disdain was so royally 
careless of stooping to offend anyone in particular ; her 
satire was 30 bright as well as sharp, that it was no 
wonder she held high carnival, and reigned, a genuine 
queen of slavish subjects, in glaring contrast to the deputy 
one at the Castle. The superb scorn that flashed from her 
eyes was yet so redolent of pleasure that it was no marvel 
if its beauty compensated for its sting. Her bitterest 


mockery was such perfect gaiety, such frolicking fun, that 
it is nothing surprising it should have entranced those who 
suffered most by it, and bewitched them by its magic. At 
least there was one thing constant about this young lady, 
so capriciously fickle in other respects — she always seemed 
to enjoy herself. Flattering or repulsing, showering her 
contempt from the comer of her polished shaft, or 
flinging it in a broadside of merriment, she always seemed 
to get the good out of life. And this splendid capacity 
for enjoyment was in itself an indescribable charm to 
weary world- worshippers, who had either never had it, or 
had had it ground out of them long ago by Mrs. Grundy's 
heel. It was delicious to hear those in the latter predica- 
ment rave against the good woman for what she had 
done ; never reflecting that Mrs. Grundy never does, never 
can go out of her way to grind anything out of anybody ; 
that it is utterly impossible for her to trample on any, save 
those who throw themselves under her feet. She is, 
doubtless, an unwieldy and corpulent female, but that 
is her misfortune, not her fault. That she should tread 
heavily is a natural result of her condition, but if people 
will take a substantial dame for a pirouetting ballet- 
dancer, they have no right to complain of a crash in the 

Tes, the most charming, the most admired, the most 
brilliant at the Viceregal court ; and well she ap- 
preciated the goods the gods had given her. Side 
by side with her unbroken gaiety was her perfect 
appreciation of the good things of this life, material and 

Tet she had serious hours, this bright young lady, 
whose careless gaiety bewildered the good old city, and 

262 n^GBAM PLACE. 

deprived stately dowagers of tlieir breath. Ton wouldn't 
have taken her for the belle of the Irish conrt (ay, and 
the most defiant belle too), had yon seen her walking 
nuder the shadow of the dark avenue in Phoenix Park, 
side by side with a celestial-nosed man, to whom she talked 
neither flippantly, nor gaily, nor derisively, but soberly 
and seriously, ay, anxiously. You would not have taken 
her for the daintiest lady in Dublin town, had you seen 
her dull heavy dress, her muffled shawl, her thick veil. 
You would not have taken her for the most frivolous 
butterfly in Dublin town, had you heard the earnest voice 
asking — 

* Then you have no trace yet ? ' 

' Nay, nay, ma'am ; I didn't say that, exactly. I was 
only at the beginning.' 

' Then tell me the end first.' 

* Well, ma'am, as I was saying ' ' 

' 'No, no, no there, don't begin there. Have you got 
any clue ? ' 

' Well, I believe a trifle.' 

' Then we are on the track,' she exclaimed in a tone of 
passionate exultation. * After all these months of waiting 
and working we are on the track.' 

* You go so fast, ma'am. I'm sure I never said that.' 

* Well, well, go on. I have patience now I know there 
is something to wait for.' 

* As I was saying, I'd got to Thomastown, I think ? ' 

* Past, I'm sure.' 

' No, ma'am, because it was at Thomastown station I 
first caught sight of her.' 


* She was standing under a gas lamp with a parcel, and 
I was here, jnst as if you was her and I was myself.' 

* Yes, well ? ' 

' She stood for more nor twenty minutes just like a 
patient statue, and them great eyes of hers flared unnatural- 
like at eleven o'clock at the night. Well, she waited till the 
up-train was near starting ; then she run with the parcel 
to a lady, and I'm blessed if the lady didn't forget to pay 
her. . Law, ma'am, you never in your life saw anything 
like the look of the girl's white face as she watched the 
train go past.' 

' Horrid creature ! ' 

' Well, I follered her, for I felt a'most sure it was her.' 

* Why didn't you take her ? ' 

' That was the first time ever I sav\r her, and if I made 
a mistake, and clapped hands on a respectable party as 
maybe had a father, why explanations would be okkard.' 

' Yes, very.' 

' You told me whatever I did was, beyond all things, to 
be done quietly,' he continued, aggrieved at the question. 

' You are quite right,' she said petulantly. * Well, you 
followed her ? ' 

* Yes, and she was that suspicious that I do believe she 
felt it, for when I called at the place to make enquiries, I 
heard all I wanted and a little more. She was the identical 
party no doubt, and she had packed up her traps and gone.' 

* Gone ? ' 

* Clean gone. Well, I didn't catch a glimpse of her 
again till last night.' 

* So late as that ? ' and the lady almost gasped for 
breath. * Then you know where to put your hand upon 


' Indeed, I don't. I tell joa what, she's a sty customer. 
She slipped away somewhere, bat not hy the door, oat of 
the shop as I stepped in ; and ap to the ooanter I went, 
seeing her gone. 

' " Yoa know that yonng woman ? " sajs I. 

' " I do, maybe," sajs the female ; for them draper girls 
is awfol for cheek. 

She comes often here ? " I says. 
Every day in the year, barrin' when she stays away ; " 
and that's the way she went on till I was near drav crazy, 
and all I found oat was that the girl got work there. I 
'spect that was all that young female knew, for all she'd 
look so mighty wise, for I never see the woman I couldn't 
pump dry. Well, I made up my mind to nab her the 
very next night — not in the shop, to make a talk, you 
know, my lady, but just outside. Wdl, as I got to the 
door I see a skirt whisk away, and a figure running for 
dear life. I run too, for I felt if I didn't my game was up. 
She'd bin listening all the time. But, law, she run like 
wings, she did. I put a bold face on it, and went straight 
back to the shop, and told the cheeky young female that 
the young party as wasn't cheeky, but aw^ sly, was 
wanted partiklar, and I got the whereabouts of the lodg- 
ings out of her. But when I got there the bird had flown, 
herself and t'other girl.' 

' What other girl ? ' 

* The one as lives with her, and puts her up to all this 
devilry. " The witch " they call her.' 

* Well, and now ? ' said the young lady despondingly. 

* Well, now, ma'am, we're as far off as ever, and all 
we've got to do is to begin again.' 

' Very well, begin again ; and begin again a hundred 


times over before you give in, for find her I will. Good 
gracious ! only last night, you say ? ' 

* Last night, ma'am ; and I've been working ever since.' 

* Work on, work on. Tou know the conditions of 
success, and it is worth your while to try as well as mine. 
Work on, I tell you ; and if your heart fails give place to 
a braver man ; but ended the search cannot be till I have 
her safe. I am playing for a great stake, and I will not be 
baulked. I tell you if you were to search for years she 
must be found. I can never know rest or peace till she is.' 

* I understand, my lady.' 

*You understand nothing at all about it,' she inter- 
rupted with imperious hauteur ; * but I told you to serve 
me well and give me news of the very first scent, for I 
must be in at the death.' 

The detective never flagged, and, if he had, she would 
have goaded him on. He was certainly the cleverest man 
in his line, and she had sense enough to see that through 
his defeats ; and so her life went on, divided into those 
brilliant meteor-lighted hours devoted to society, and cau- 
tious interviews with the detective, and grave, silent, 
serious times when she communed with herself, or studied 
the face of Mrs. Chirrup and the whitening head of her 

And all the time Eohan Blennerhasset's suspicions and 
Mrs. Chirrup's remorse and the detective's admiration 

* Not only frivolous, but wicked,' groaned the lawyer, 
strangely pained by the confession. 

* I have done it all,' moaned Mrs. Chirrup. 

*Ah, but she's a deep one,' the detective muttered, 
walking briskly about Hke A man who hadn't a minute to 


spare to attend to anybody's business but his own, and all 
the time taking accurate measurement of each one he 



The great king had come in awful majesty to levy his 
terrible dues. Men fell before him like ripe wheat before 
the sickle. Clothed in the terrors of the Cholera he came, 
breaking those who would not bend, compelling young 
men and old, maids and matrons, rich and poor, crowned 
kings and blue blood grandees, practical artisans and 
debased paupers, to do homage to his dread presence. He 
came to the gorgeous palaces of the land, and there was 
weeping beside purple palls and wax tapers, and great men 
and women wept one or two of their cherished idols, and 
all the world wept with them ; he came to the lonely cabin 
where the solitary tree defended the frail roof fi^m the 
tempest, and there was mourning beside a father, a helper, 
an only one, stretched on a bed of straw, and the poor 
man and woman wept the household stay, the orphan's de- 
pendence, and no one knew that they wept at all. 

He came to the alley in Dromore, where the now lonely 
worker had come to be near Jenny, in defiance of all 
danger ; and he came to the Latin, where the caged bird 
beat feebly its wounded wings and looked helplessly at 
the open door. He struck with his mighty hand, breathed 
with his pestiferous breath, to the right and to the left, 
sparing few whom he looked upon, yet passing by one here 


and one there. Thousands lay dying in the town of Dro- 
more, thousands more in the outlying suburbs, in the fes- 
tering lanes, in the densely-crowded hospitals. 

* It is terrible to see them/ Jenny said, forgetting her 
misery in this universal calamity, which had not deterred 
her from bringing oranges to a sick child in a hospital. 

* Poor things, they lie and toss and moan, and it's as much 
as the nurses and doctors can do to give them a drink 
in the twenty-four hours. If they had anyone to lift their 
poor heads now and again, and look after their medicine, 
some might get better ; but as it is, what can they do but 

Jenny did not exaggerate. The hospitals were but 
chambers of one great lazar-house, a morgue for the 
living, out of which bodies yet warm had to be thrown on 
stretchers in the vaults below, whence they would be 
carted, a dozen at a time, to satiated burying grounds. 
And though hardly any of the nurses had permitted panic 
to interfere with their terrible duties, though they had 
seen their numbers thin without additional defection, yet 
in spite of a heroism, none the less great that it was 
evinced by the nameless, the obscure, the attendance was 
wofally insufficient. 

* Poor things, poor things ! ' repeated Kate compas- 
sionately. * I would like to help nurse them ; do you 
think they would let me ? ' 

* No, no ; I'm sure they wouldn't,' Jenny said hastily. 

* You'd be sure to catch it.' 

* You weren't afraid to go.' 

* I'm stronger than you ; besides, I'm only going to do 
it to spite Mm, It's just the one thing he's afeard of, an' 
I'll give him enough of it.' 


* Are jou going to be a nurse ? ' 

' Well, jes ; but I wasn't intending to tell jon. How- 
erer, I may as well say good-bje ; bnt if I catch it don't 
jon fret, it'll only serve me right, jon know;' 

'Yon needn't say good-bye, Jenny, becanse I'm 

There was a look of resolution on the pale thin face 
that alarmed Jenny. 

' No, yon're not,' she said ahnost fiercely. ' I'd tell 
Balfe first.' 

^ Yon wouldn't do that, and it would be a comfort to 
me to be of use to somebody before I die. It's always 
miserable I made people all my life, and I'd like to think I 
done some good.' 

* There you go ; you're sure to catch it.' 
' Why aren't you afraid for yourself ? ' 

* Me afraid ? ' said Jenny bitterly, * and for what 
would I be a&^d ! What better could happen me than to 
catch it, and die quick instead of slow, to die away frx)m 
this life of shame and misery ? Which is better, that or to 
go on, not living, but with the heart gnawing out of me 
all the day, all the night; to go on sinking lower and 
lower, till at last it's that I am ? ' 

She pointed as she spoke to a woman emerging from a 
whiskey shop. A woman — but not in the likeness of a 
woman — a thing of abject wretchedness, and degradation, 
the shivering figure draped in rags, the face bloated and 
purple, swollen almost out of the semblance of humanity 
with drink. 

Kate shivered. ' Not like that, Jenny.' 

* Why not ? Oh, it*s easy for the rich and the respect- 
able, who know nothing of what it is to bo made wicked, 


who sin from sheer wantonness, from the very choice of 
their hearts, and in defiance of the safe hedges Heaven 
has put round them, to throw a hard word on such a 
wretch as that. It's* easier, sure, for them to stone her in 
the mire than give her a hand out of it. Do you think I 
learnt nothing all that time, that cruel time, before you 
found me in the rushes ? Do you think I didn't see and 
hate the righteous horror people a thousand times worse 
have for such as that woman ? But why shouldn't she 
drink ? What else was she brought up to ? what other 
comfort has she from the birth to the grave, from the 
cradle to the coffin ? And why shouldn't I become the 
same ? What's to hinder ? What one pleasure will I have 
from this hour to the hour of my death ? So you see, my 
dear, it wouldn't much matter if I died while I've fewer 
sins to answer for than I'll have in a few years' time. With 
you it's different.' 

* How different ? ' said the girl mournfully. * What is 
my life to me more than yours ? Why would I be sorry to 
die ? What would I do without you ? We'll go together, 

They did go together. The porter stared at them as if 
he thought they must be mad, then whispered their mis- 
sion to a nurse who was passing. She glanced hastily at 
the two small figures, and shook her head ; but the waifs 
from the Latin were not to be discouraged in what they 
looked upon as the first good thing they had tried to do. 
Then the doctor came down. 

It was Dr. Dalzell, who had been moved from his old 
post to superintend St. Anne's. 

' So you want to be nurses, do you ? ' and he knit his 


beetle brows. * Perhaps you don't know that cholera means 
death ?' 

* Yes, we know,' said Jenny ; * but it don't matter.' 

* Eh ? Why ? Yes. You haven't been to the river 
again ? ' 

*No, sir, never; though I'm sure I don'no why I 
wasn't. We can come ? ' 

' Please, sir, let us come ; ' and the thin fe,ce and the 
wistfal grey eyes looked up at him appealingly. * We want 
to help ; we'll be very good to the poor people, that's worse 
off than us.' 

* Are they worse off than you ? ' he asked, glancing 
doubtfully at the thin shawl, the thinner gown whose 
many rents were decently sewn now, 

* Yes, sir. Sure they're more wretched than us ; that's 
why we want to help.' 

A divine pity for those who were poorer than herself 
gave her a superb courage, and she spoke fearlessly, not 
shrinkingly or tremulously. The gruff physician was 

* Come in, children. I dare not refuse your aid. He 
who sent you will keep you, doubtless.' 



The Otter no longer feared that Jenny would run away. 
He thought she had had enough of it : that after the theft 
sure to be afi^ed to her, she would hardly have the courage 


to begin a fresh struggle for honesty. Her frequent ab- 
sences, therefore, did not surprise him, even when she was 
away all day, and only returned late at night, disappear- 
ing at three and four in the morning. No suspicion as to 
where she was troubled him ; for, impregnated with the 
popular belief that cholera was contagious, he had given 
her strictest orders to let no pity, no compassion, induce 
her to approach any unfortunate sufferer. 

It was this man's dread that he should die in his bed. 
He had braved death in many forms in the Channel, often, 
too, for a very trifling prize — a few shillings profit on a 
keg of whiskey, a roU of tobacco, etc. Not only the death 
resulting from the enemy's shot had he dared, but the 
shameful one administered by Jack Ketch. And the 
thought of having braved and escaped all these dangers, 
only to fall a victim to a cruel disease, absolutely sickened 
him. He was not devoid of courage, even BuUy Balfe 
never accused him of that ; yet when he thought of the 
cholera a panic seized him, and he quaked like the veriest 

And somehow to-night he could think of nothing else. 
Jobs were scarce the last few days, perhaps because Balfe 
was away from Dromore ; but he had one in prospect to- 
night. It was not, however, of sufficient importance to 
divert his thoughts from the horrid spectacles he had wit- 
nessed that day. 

The ghostly clock clicked in the comer, the damp 
chill on the dilapidated furniture was damper and chiller 
than ever. The cold earth floor was cleanly swept, but 
there was a smell of death from it that pervaded the place 
like the odour from a grave newly opened. 

The Shivers always had something ghostly about it, but 


to-night it seemed as if all the shapes Jenny Joy had ever 
seen and imagined had come into visible being*, resting 
shadowily yet palpably on the frail nnpainted chairs, 
nestling behind the dresser with its scant crockery- ware, 
lurking under the table, peeping out at the Otter from the 
fitful flashes of the fire that wouldn't bum brightly, and 
that would crackle with an unearthly sound, in spite of 
several persistent attempts to prevent it, with an air that 
said, * I am damp and spiritual, and I won't bum, and I 
will crackle in spite of you.' * 

* It's my belief that you are damp, bad scran to you,' 
said the Otter in reply. ' It's damp you are and damp you 
will be till you're burnt to ashes, drat you. But why 
should you, you mortal humbug? iDidn't I take your 
timbers out of a river, you say ? Thrue ; but didn't I dry 
you since that, you log of ingratitude ? Wait — I'll make 
you bum.' 

He got up and approached the dresser, and from, the 
lower part he took a small wooden box. After breaking it 
up, he smeared the pieces with oil, and placed them in the 
grate. There was a flare up ; then the fire flickered and 
crackled as hopelessly as ever. Damp, damp, nothing but 
damp, even in the fire. 

* I wonder where's the witch ? ' he remarked, smoking 
his dudeen, and resigning himself to the prevailing influ- 
ences. * She's like a sperit, an' as hard to manage ; but, 
bother it, I wish she was back ; she's the only thing in the 
place that's not damp, and even her eerie eyes are better 
glaring into a fellow than these damp walls. I wonder is 
there any damp in the other place ? Say not ; but 
wouldn't wonder if they get up a mildewed comer for my 
especial benefit,' 


Damper and damper the place seemed iio grow, and the 
ghostly shapes glided and mstled abont, dancing weird 
dances to the dismal mnsic of the wind that was soughing 
through the leafless trees outside, till the Otter could bear 
it no longer ; and rising from before the fire, that grew 
dimmer and duller every moment, he sought ' among the 
ghostly shapes in the dresser, and after a vigorous struggle 
rescued from them a thick bull-necked jar. 

The Otter was no coward, yet a creeping fear came over 
him, as the wind howled in madder mirth around the crazy 
building, piercing every crank and cranny, making the 
shapes on the wall, on the floor, on the roof, skip and dis- 
port themselves in wilder ecstasy. He had always listened 
without any disbehef to his daughter's goblin legends, but 
had never feared them. To-night he tried to disbelieve, 
and his doubt was tinctured with dread, though with 
characteristic audacity he strove to shake it from him. 
Taking a pull at the jar, he seized a sudden resolution, and 
looked round defiantly. 

* Bad luck to ye, spirits, ghosts, whatever ye are, come 
on. What can ye do ? Who's afraid of you ? I do believe 
in you, and I don't care for ye not the snap of my fingers. 
But, bad cess to you, come forward plain — not like men, for 
ye can't, but like ghosts and spirits — and don't stay creeping 
about enough to make the flesh crawl on my bones.' 

Eerie musical laughter answered him as the door iflew 
open, admitting a tiny figure and a tremendous gust of 
sleet, that somehow made the Otter shiver as he never 
remembered shivering before. 

* Well, I called the place Shivery Arbour, but I never 
thought rd shiver in the damp, that's as natuiul to me as 
dew to the cabbage-leaf. Where were you P ' 

YOL. I. T ( 

274 nrasAx place. 

The question was addressed to Miss Joice, who only 
laughed again, a bitter, malicious laugh. 

* So ye're creepin' at last, are ye ? I told you they were 
here, and they are so, sure enough ;' and she nodded 
familiarly to the shapes that peered at her with a weird 

^ It's something not right there is about you,' he re- 
marked, as he noted the glitter of her blac^ eyes, the elfin 
laugh that jarred upon him to-night as gratingly as though 
he were a gentleman of the most ultra-refined tastes and 
hypercritical ear. 

She had taken off the wet cloak and shoes, and 
thrusting her feet into slippers that were so big she had 
to drag them afler her, sat down opposite her fitther. 
There was somethiug very unearthly in her appearance 
as she sat there on that low stool, her body bent forward, 
her elbows resting on her knees, her two small hands 
supporting the thin, sharp face, her glittering eyes, snd- 
denly grown solemn, peering intently into the fire, as if 
seeking there some necromantic legend. More child than 
woman, more spirit than either. Again the Otter shivered, 
though the door was closed now, and a strange restlessness 
tool^ possession of him. 

* Where were you this hour of the night ? ' he asked 
again, oppressed by the silence. No answer came. 

* That's your manners, is it ? It's yerself is the dutiftil 
daughter.' He would have been glad of an excuse to 

* Dutiful is it ? ' exclaimed Miss Joice, with momentary 
bitterness, *but it's you has the right to duty and man- 
aers, save the mark. It's dutiful and mannerly yer wor 

r that's gone, morya/ Then she relapsed into her 


abstraction, dwindling and dwindling with the flickering 
fire into something so shadowy, so unreal, that she only 
seemed one of the many shapes springing ont of the 

* Ye look as if ye'd gone to inform, and couldn't get the 
price for the job. Come, out with it, Jenny.' 

*An' why wouldn't I?' she said, turning on him 
savagely. * What were all the wrongs you ever done me 
to this ? For near eigl^teen months I slaved and fought 
for an honest name. Oh, I lived a life that wasn't 
pleasant and that wasn't easy ; oh, no, it wasn't easy, the 
life I lived to get an honest name ; and I got it, yes, I got 
it, thief as you brought me up, I got it. But I can never 
have it again — ^no, never. You've took fix)m me what you 
can never in aU your wretched life give me back — no, not 
if you tried ever so hard ; for if you did tell the trath, 
who'd believe you? Isn't it all over the country this 
minit how Jenny Joice run away from Boss with the 
gentleman's watch, that was so kind to her? Isn't it 
in Mr. Dalzell's heart that the girl he was so good to, oh, 
so good — ^that he tried to make something of, witch and all 
as she was — was foolin' him all the time ? I might try for 
another eighteen months to be honest, and you mightn't, 
maybe, find me, but where would I get another friend like 
him ? And worse than all, how would I make him believe 
me again ? Oh, you've done what you can never undo, an' 
I'll never, never forgive you.' 

It was a speech she remembered long after, long after 
it had ceased to trouble him, a speech whose passionate, 
revengeftd bitterness lingered when what had caused it 
was forgotten. So it is. We forget what made us so 
•cruel, so vindictive — we only remember that we were so 

T 2 

276 nraBAX plage. 

And if the cause occurs to ns, refined hj ihe truth of time, 
what a Httle thing it seems to hare warranted those 
poisonous words, those stinging tannts. 

There was silence again. Jenny relapsed into her 
reverie. The Otter gave np fighting his daughter, to fight 
against the dismal depression that weighed him down, bj 
recalling his many hnmOrons tricks, his comical evasions 
of the law, his long career in which he had so daringly 
ontwitted the cnstom-honse officials, and in many cases 
literally snapped his fingers in their fisMses. It was an 
employment congenial to his ideas of the ludicrous, and 
yet to-night the chuckle would not come. At length he 
pushed back his chair with as much noise as possible, and 
took down from, its peg the coat that had replaced the one 
Jenny had abstracted that Saturday night. Miss Joice 
watched him furtively while he shook it, as though to free 
it &om the aU-prevaOing damp. 

^ lb may be what you call tidiness to set a man's coat 
agin a wet wall,' he remarked, ^ but it's what I call spite, 
and tamal mean spite too.* 

* Where are you going ? ' Miss Joice asked. 

* Out it's likely.' 
•On a job?' 

* An' what if it is ? "Would you like to starve ? ' 

^ Don't go out,' she said, with an earnestness that 
caused him to stare blankly at her. * Don't. If you saw 
the deaths I saw to-day, you'd not care to go.' 

A new horror paled the slimy fece. 

* Where have ye been P * he gasped. * Not — not in the 
bouses where there's sick ? * 

* N"©, in the hospital.* 

* What brought ye there, ye imp of the evil one ? * he 


exclaimed furiously, recoiling as lie spoke. ' Answer me, 
or I'll kill ye by inches.' 

The solemn gentleness died out of the girl's face, 
leaving only hard, bitter defiance. 

* No ye won't. I'm not as easy killed as my mother.' 

* It's a conspiracy, is it ? Who's at the bottom of it P 
Who bribed you to bring the plague to me ? — -tell me that,' 
and he approached her with uplifted hand, and a look on 
his face she had never seen before. All the good was gone 
now, all the evil in the girl's nature was stirred by the 
threatening gesture and fierce words. 

' Take care,' she said mockingly ; * it's in my clothes 
it is, maybe.' 

Again he drew back. 

* Take them off and bum them, you jade you ; and if 
ever I hear of ye going to that place again, I'll shoot you 
down like a mad dog.' 

' It was awfal to see Jack Buckle raving like one ; him 
that used to be so strong. It would be worth your while 
to see him now, with his livid face, and oaths that would 
make your flesh creep,' she said with malicious emphasis. 

If she had known that these would be the last words 
he would ever hear her speak, would shei even with all her 
cruel sense of wrong, have spoken them ? 

The man flung himself out of reach of the witch-like 
accents, and Miss Joice left the Shivers that night for 





All the wards were cholera wards now. Not a few of the 
nurses sickened and died ; but no pang of fear kept the 
two outcasts fix)m the Thieves' Latin from gUding inces- 
santly from one pallet to the other, ministeriDg qnietlj, 
obeying the doctor with scmpnlons precision that ren- 
dered their services more valuable than those of expe- 
rienced hands. Nobody could tell when they slept, but it 
was wonderful how they held up against every &,tigue and 
terror, these two young girls ; wonderftd into what beauty 
their characters developed ; how the fiery, bitter, vixenish 
Jenny became gentle to the most obstinate and ungracious, 
melting in warm, compassionate sympathy over their 
sufferings; how the timid coward Elate grew bold, firm 
with the most refractory patients, fearless with the most 

Now and then the two girls met in the ward, or in the 
passage, and conversed for a moment in low, hushed tones. 
Only a moment, for their self-imposed duties demanded all 
their time ; and instead of the sight of so much suffering 
blunting, it only enlarged their keen sympathy, rendering 
it more exquisitely alive to the wretchedness to which man 
may be reduced. 

* So Jack Mills is dead ? ' whispered Jenny, in awe- 
struck tones. 

' Yes ; he died swearing,' said Kate, shuddering. * He 
•aid there was no hell, but I don't think he thought so.' 


* Poor fellow ! ' said Dr. DalzeU, who was passing. * Did 
lie die hard, my dear ? ' 

He spoke to that little waif as he might have to a 
daughter if he had had one. 

* Yes, sir,' she said sadly. All these sorrows of har- 
dened men and weary women were hers now. The burly 
dpctor laid a hand on the shoulder of each little nurse. 

* It is time you had a little rest, my children. You can- 
not hold out much longer ; and if they must die without 
you, it may as well be while you are asleep as dying.* 
Go now.' 

* I couldn't,' said the pale waif from the Thieves' Latin. 
* I want to do some good while I can ; I do, indeed. I 
can't go away and think these poor things want me ; ' and 
more and more dawned upon Dr. DaJzell the beauty of that 
wan face, glorified by a sublime pity. * Jenny, you will 
not ? ' she added entreatingly. 

* I won't,' said Jenny, savagely. 

* I see I must use my authority. I have half an hour or 
so ; I shall look after the ward you belong to, and you are 
both to remain upstairs till I call.' 

* Doctor, please, a new patient.' 

The doctor sighed, and went to the speaker. It was 
ever thus his spare moments were taken from him ; and 
after a few words the two girls separated to attend to their 
mournful duties, wondering, as they generally did at such 
partings, whether they would meet again, a speculation 
that never impaired their surprising efl&ciency. 

*I've just put a new patient into your ward,' said 
cheery Mrs. Love, as she hurriedly passed Jenny. *It's 
number forty-five, Miss Joice.' 

On the pallet that had only just been vacated they had 

tfl III! I r*i I I ■ 


laid a man. His low brow was pallid, and big drops of 
sweat stood out like beads. Ho tossed and moaned and 
swore, and distorted his greenish visage with ghastlj con- 
tortions in the extremity of his suffering. 

Ah ! there is no upbraiding now, no malicions sparkle 
in the great black eyes, only a longing, pleading look it 
might break yonr heart to see, as the sick man tossed to 
and fro, moaning, between his ribald ravings, *0 Jenny, 
don't be so hard ; forgive me, Jenny !* 

The big drops rolled down with the earnestness of the 
supplication, with the craving for the answer that came so 
readily, but which he could neither hear nor comprehend. 

*0 father, poor father, forgive me. I forgave you 
long, long ago. Poor daddy, I always forgave you, 
though my tongue was so bitter. Won't you listen to me ? 
Won't you hear how sorry I am P it was a lie when 
I said I'd never forgive you. Won't you believe me ? ' 

But the fever was on him, and he neither saw nor 
heard aught but his own delirious -fancies. Again he 
would rave in the madness of the disease, till the poor 
little creature was well-nigh broken-hearted. 

* She said she'd never forgive me, never in this world 
and the next, and she meant it. Sure, maybe, she had 
cause. But your mother forgave me, Jenny. Yes, she 
did, long ago, but you won't.' 

And she could not make him hear the answer to the 
piteous entreaty ; she could not make him understand that 
he had been forgiven a thousand times over. The day 
faded into night, the night waned into morning, the sickly 
lights flickered and fluttered, nurses passed hither and 
thither, now tending a sufferer, now removing a dead 
body to make room fex a living one. Doctors came with 


their grave faces, and shook their heads at this one, and 
wondered that that one was yet alive ; but a hush fell on 
all, sick or well, who yet preserved their senses, as it 
spread through the ward that the little nurse tended her 
dying father. 

The end came, came without an interval of conscious- 
ness, though she had never stirred from her post. 

So the Otter died holding his daughter's hand, died 
without having ever heard her loving words, her passion- 
ate grief— died unforgiven ! 









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